Behind The Scenes: The New Asia
A year in the making, Tatler’s New Asia portfolio—featuring portraits of 117 entrepreneurs, chefs, designers, artists, financiers and musicians who are redefining the future of our region—was a production unlike anything seen before in this magazine. And it began with a simple question: Who do you think should be on the cover?
To introduce Tatler’s new design, the editors of our eight editions gave careful consideration to subjects who represent a broad scope of creative professions and industries, all with a focus on the future. And they found the possibilities were endless. “I didn’t think there was just one person who personifies what this new generation and the new era of Tatler should be, because it is meant to be inclusive of so much more than one characteristic,” says global artistic director Joe Zee. “So I said we should photograph all of them.”
Over 31 days of shoots that took place in Jaipur, London, Tokyo, Seoul, New York, Los Angeles, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Shanghai, Manila, Jakarta, Taipei, Hong Kong, Bangkok and more, Tatler photographed those who are contributing to the world’s new appreciation of Asia. “The crew was going from city to city, sometimes shooting all day to the point it was a little bit like going on a concert tour,” says Zee.
The resulting portfolio encapsulates not only the incredible diversity of next-generation changemakers from country to country, but also highlights their similarities, particularly how many of them see their work as symbolic of Asia as a whole. “We chose the participants because they have a lot of respect or acclaim in their respective fields, but on some level they also help bring recognition to the global conversation about what Asia is becoming today,” says Zee, citing the impact of Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians on the entertainment industry, or Adrian Cheng’s global ambassadorship to the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Photo director Gillian Nadel, whose heroic organisational skills made the entire project possible, arranging transportation for stylists, photographers and lots of designer gowns around the globe, points out another important discovery from the experience—just how graciously every participant played their parts, music stars, designers, startup entrepreneurs and veteran businessmen alike. Nindy Ayunda danced to Beyoncé on set. Jennifer Woo and her team at The Lane Crawford Joyce Group played disco music and drank champagne. Even the Indonesian musician Rayi Putra Rahardjo, after the last shot, sat down with the crew for lunch, talking about potty training his child and asking for tips.
Another feature to note is our new logo created by global design director Paul Ritter, who modernised a delightfully surprising Tatler logo he found from the 1960s with graceful, elongated letters inspired by the soaring skylines of Asian capitals, a clever update on Tatler’s DNA. Note how the ‘l,’ in many cases, extends all the way to the top of the page, soaring into infinity. Like the spirit of the New Asia, he says, “it should reach for the sky.”