14 Letter from the Editor
Every sunset is an opportunity to reset, or so the saying goes, but the first dawn of a new year always feels distinctly different. After the extended lockdowns, endless Zoom calls and dashed hopes for travel bubbles, many of us could not wait to wrap up 2020 and begin anew. With the incredible news of the vaccine and gradual transition back into normality, the arrival of 2021 feels like a huge sigh of relief—a glimmer of light after what felt like a long year of darkness.
That said, we cannot let our masks or our guards down just yet. If we learned anything from last year, it pays to hope for the best and expect the worst. While the new year often entails promises of self-improvement, many of us actually made—and kept—resolutions in the throes of the pandemic. When our plans were left up in the air, life happened, and we all soldiered on together. A few of our Tatler friends share their pandemic epiphanies and hopes for the year ahead on page 30.
If you’re looking for inspiration to set goals, we’ve profiled some individuals worth emulating. There’s trend-defying beauty entrepreneur Suzanne Santos, who co-founded Aesop in 1987, which is one of the first brands to be gender-neutral, champion sustainability, and use architecture and literature to set itself apart. We’ve also interviewed visionary designer Paul Smith, who celebrates 50 years in the fashion industry, on how he remains staunchly original, independent and relevant.
Here on our shores, Ian Ang and Alaric Choo, co-founders of gaming chair company Secretlab, are on the cover this month. Their company produces robust ergonomic gaming chairs shipped directly to over 60 countries worldwide, and their explosive growth resulted in their millionth chair being sold last year. Theirs is the quintessential entrepreneurial story of
“if you can’t find it, make it”, and with their intimate knowledge of gaming combined with true grit, they’re growing Secretlab into a force to be reckoned with. Read more in our cover story on page 126.
Secretlab is one of the rare pandemic success stories but frankly I feel making it through 2020 is an achievement in itself. It’s not about winning or losing, but more about acceptance and forgiveness. Last year taught us not to be too hard on ourselves and that it’s essential to be mindful of our mental health. As such, many of the features in the January issue are devoted to self-care, helping you start the year on the right note. Our regional lifestyle editor Coco Marett spoke to beauty and wellness experts from myriad disciplines—uncover words of wisdom from a Shaolin monk and track the curious comeback of “witchmagick”.
Whether you’ve adopted a meditation routine or finally decided to start recycling, it’s time to leave the negative vibes in 2020 and bring the good habits and learnings into this one. There are things that remain out of our control but what we think and whisper to ourselves have the real power to create bright, new beginnings.