ED­I­TOR’S LET­TER

Prestige (Singapore) - - CONTENTS - Lauren Tan | ED­I­TOR

I HAVE TO ad­mit I’ve had Myan­mar on my mind since last March — right from the mo­ment our guide spir­ited us away from Yan­gon’s in­ter­na­tional air­port in an MPV with seat cov­ers sprin­kled with pink in­ter­lock­ing “Cs” (Chanel, any­one?).

There’s just some­thing di€er­ent about the for­mer cap­i­tal that’s hard to put a fin­ger on. Per­haps it’s the way the city of five mil­lion “bus­tles gen­tly” (a turn of phrase cour­tesy of au­thor Caro­line Cour­tauld), its colo­nial ar­chi­tec­ture, the gilded stu­pas, or the way lo­cals have a cer­tain grace and a re­gal bear­ing. What­ever it was, I was in­tox­i­cated. And it had ab­so­lutely noth­ing to do with the lo­cal red and white wines from the hills of Shan State that the gen­eral man­ager of our bou­tique ho­tel in­tro­duced us to.

We were merely pass­ing through on our way to Ba­gan and with­out re­search, knew lit­tle of what young peo­ple get up to in Yan­gon. But we knew of Sh­wedagon Pagoda, the coun­try’s most sa­cred Bud­dhist shrine. It was while mak­ing our way there in our “C”-har­iot that I caught a quick glimpse of what I thought was a wine-in­duced mi­rage: A Ree­bonz bou­tique. Even KFC with 15,000 restau­rants world­wide was still a few months from open­ing in the coun­try, surely it couldn’t be the lux­ury e-tailer?

Ex­cept, it wasn’t my imag­i­na­tion. A year later, I’ve fi­nally put two and two to­gether. I’ve even met one of the per­sons who had a role in bring­ing in what is thought to be the coun­try’s first mul­ti­l­abel lux­ury bou­tique: Our cover girl, Daphne Teo.

Chief in­vest­ment o™cer of D3 Cap­i­tal, the Sin­ga­porean over­sees the development of Golden City, a 10-tower lux­ury project in Yan­gon just 10 min­utes from Sh­wedagon Pagoda. One of the development’s ear­li­est strate­gic part­ner­ships was inked with Ree­bonz, which re­ally did open its first con­cept store within the Golden City showroom.

Also chang­ing the Yan­gon land­scape is the Pun fam­ily, who left Myan­mar af­ter the mil­i­tary coup and found suc­cess else­where in Asia be­fore re­turn­ing with big dreams in play. Se­cond son, Cyrus, heads their real es­tate de­vel­op­ments, in­clud­ing a 135-acre satel­lite town and the up­com­ing trans­for­ma­tion of the 19th cen­tury Burma Rail­way Com­pany Head­quar­ters into the Yan­gon Penin­sula Ho­tel. He graces the cover of this month’s Wealth sup­ple­ment. (It’s his fam­ily that holds the master fran­chise to KFC in the coun­try.)

Just as they have seized op­por­tu­ni­ties in the for­mer Burma, we de­vote our July is­sue to those un­afraid to fol­low their call­ing — be it as a pro­fes­sion, for their art, a cause, or even for bet­ter per­sonal well- be­ing.

FASH­ION DI­REC­TION JOHNNY KHOO

ART DI­REC­TION AU­DREY CHAN PHO­TOG­RA­PHY WEE KHIM

FASH­ION STYLING JACQUIE ANG

HAIR ED­WARD CHONG EVOLVE MAKE UP CINDY GOH US­ING SHISEIDO PHO­TOG­RA­PHY AS­SIS­TANCE EL­TON CHONG IN­TERN NUR SYAHZANANI DRESS, BRASSIERE AND KNICKERS, MICA(P) 118/12/2015 ALL FROM DOLCE GABBANA

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