HTSI editor Jo Ellison
HTSI editor Jo Ellison © Marili Andre 

Ten years is a long time in fashion – especially today. At Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière is celebrating a decade as the artistic director of womenswear division, a true feat when one considers that his tenure has coincided with the advent of so many innovations, including two new shows on the calendar, a brief spell of see-now-buy-now, the virtual fashion show and the unstoppable ascent of social media. Ghesquière, now 52, remains an undisputed master at one of the world’s most successful houses, a design force with the spirit of a couturier. Co-headed by Ghesquière, Francesca Amfitheatrof in high jewellery and Pharrell Williams, who now designs the menswear, Louis Vuitton has been the first luxury brand to break €20bn in annual sales: its global reach and power is phenomenal.

Nicolas Ghesquière photographed at Le Voltaire, Paris
Nicolas Ghesquière photographed at Le Voltaire, Paris © Ethan James Green
Model Mona Tougaard wears Louis Vuitton SS17
Model Mona Tougaard wears Louis Vuitton SS17 © Bibi Cornejo Borthwick

For this issue we have taken a look back over Ghesquière’s LV career, with the help of some of his best-known ambassadors. We gathered this elite girl gang in Paris just after the SS24 show – and each was photographed in a look from his archive. What struck me was how fondly everyone spoke of Ghesquière – many of them have been friends with him for years. Meanwhile, coordinating so many schedules, outfits, dresses and hair and make-up artists was no small task, so special thanks go to HTSI style director Isabelle Kountoure.

Chefs cook chicken skewers at Toriyoshi Ginza, Tokyo
Chefs cook chicken skewers at Toriyoshi Ginza, Tokyo © James Harvey-Kelly

Having returned from Tokyo only a few weeks ago, after a lightning four-day stay, I felt a pang of longing on reading David Coggins and James Harvey-Kelly’s essay about the city. Tokyo remains one of the most mysterious and exciting places in the world, a tease of fantasy interiors, retail opportunities, immaculate design and undiscovered restaurants. In the brief moment I was there, I spent the evenings walking its streets (it’s the perfect city for solo perambulation) just trying to get a better sense of the Japanese capital’s geography and culture. David’s piece is a great primer for the visitor who wants to sample the best the city has to offer. Sadly, there is never time to do Tokyo justice: there are always so many more tantalising corners one longs to explore. But that’s the beauty of Japan – you always leave it desperate to return.  

Austen Chu at Gage Street Day Market, Hong Kong
Austen Chu at Gage Street Day Market, Hong Kong © Jimi Chiu

Hong Kong is another city in which one can feel an almost nervous panic about how to spend it, so I am also grateful for a guide by the watch entrepreneur and influencer Austen Chu. The co-founder of the Shanghai Watch Gang evidently spends a lot of time in its luxury retail centres, but I’m delighted to see Yardbird on his lists of restaurants to love (I can still taste the chicken-skin yakitori skewers that I ate there many years ago), as well as his recommendations for traditional Chinese food. I’ve made a note for whenever I’m next in Shau Kei Wan.

And finally, are you the sort of person who likes a medical exam? Do you feel emboldened by “the full picture”? If so, Maria Shollenbarger’s piece about the new ultra-diagnostic offers on the market will be just the prescription; she has tried a battery of tests in order to coordinate a strategy for living better – and for longer. Maria volunteers for the whole assessment, including dietary health, muscular strength and cognitive impairment, as well various genetic illnesses and traits of cancer. She returns armed with a bespoke diagnostic toolkit that should ward off age-related illness – and keep her in touch with the best medics in the business. I can’t say I’m the type of person who seeks out information about my health – I’m more of a head-in-the-sand ty pe when it comes to hidden ailments. But having read her analysis, I have resolved to do one thing: eat a greater variety of cruciferous vegetables. 


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