HTSI editor Jo Ellison
HTSI editor Jo Ellison © Marili Andre

Are you “doing” semaglutide? In recent weeks, the drug has become the subject of public (and private) discourse as we debate the ethics and efficacy of the weight-loss aid. Naturally it’s controversial – what discussion of weight loss is ever not? 

I know several people who have been prescribed Ozempic (a semaglutide brand name), and I’ve been a fascinated onlooker as the drug has taken hold. Yes, I should caveat that evidence suggests that most users regain most of the weight they’ve lost, and it’s important to highlight how little we still know about its use long-term. But for people with disordered eating habits or yo-yo dieters, Ozempic offers a gateway to another world. From anecdotal conversations with other users, it has an interesting effect on one’s appetite for alcohol as well.

Ozempic has been hailed as a “miracle” drug
Ozempic has been hailed as a “miracle” drug © Morwenna Parry

While I would never personally consider injecting myself with anything except life-saving medicine, the Ozempic conversation is one where I’ve been keen to hear the user’s voice. Fiona Golfar started taking her course of treatment in December, and her transformation has been fairly astonishing to see. But the more intriguing thing I have observed about Fiona, who has been on a diet for the entirety of the time that I have known her, has been the fact that for the first time in our relationship we talk far less about what she’s going to eat. She has kindly agreed to write about her experiences on Ozempic here – I hope you can read it with an open mind. In an arena where we are incredibly quick to pass judgement, Fiona offers an unexpectedly sympathetic point of view. 

Maro Gorky and Matthew Spender’s elder daughter Saskia’s bedroom
Maro Gorky and Matthew Spender’s elder daughter Saskia’s bedroom © Stefan Giftthaler

There can be no controversy about the home shared by artist Maro Gorky and her husband Matthew Spender. The Tuscan farmhouse that the couple moved into in the late ’60s is among the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. The decoration has been evolving over many years, but the different landscapes and treatments all come together as a resplendent whole. The writer Vanessa Nicolson first visited the farmhouse as a child: her mother was a friend of Maro’s mother, and the house was an artistic hub of bohemian bonhomie. The children of famous artists (she of the Armenian-American artist Arshile Gorky, he of the poet Sir Stephen Spender), the couple have been witness to many generations of creatives, and have rather ribald recollections of them all. If not all their experiences have been easy, the house itself is an expression of unfettered joy: a technicolour riot best described as Charleston meets Pompeii.

Inditex non-executive chair Marta Ortega Pérez
Inditex non-executive chair Marta Ortega Pérez © David Sims

Lastly, I am honoured that Marta Ortega Pérez agreed to grant an exclusive interview to this magazine. The daughter of the Inditex founder Amancio, she has inherited the same approach to the media: this is only her second-ever business interview. Now the non-executive chair of Inditex, she is the leader of a high-street giant: the company’s apparel and footwear enjoys a global market share of 1.6 per cent. She’s also striking-looking, fabulously well-connected, funny and obsessed with art. I went to their headquarters near A Coruña, Spain, to find out more about one of the most influential women in the fashion world. 


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