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Esquire Singapore May 2021

After winning three Media Publishing Association awards in 2013 and eleven in 2014, Esquire continues to be regarded as a beacon of excellent journalism in Asia with fifteen wins in 2015. We have no idea where we kept the awards, though. Founded in September 2012, the local edition is produced by a crop of respectable writers, photographers, illustrators and collaborators. Known for its powerful storytelling and ground-breaking photography, delivered in its signature wit, Esquire continues to steward men to their best in Singapore and beyond. The birth of Esquire dates back as far as 1933 in the States and since then, the title is known for pushing boundaries with literary giants such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Norman Mailer finding their voice with the magazine.

Indochine Media
9 Issues

in this issue

3 min
celebrating a centennial

Though this May 2021 issue marks my tenth as editor-in-chief of Esquire Singapore, it’s a milestone for a much more significant reason. After years of producing some of the most innovative journalism, groundbreaking visuals and special events in the region, we’ve reached that most celebration-worthy of numbers: 100 issues in print. Ordinarily, this mightn’t be cause for popping open the champagne, but if you’ve been keeping track of the media landscape in recent years, you will have noticed a remarkable shift. The freedom of the press is under attack, print has been significantly usurped by digital, and there’s been a major reckoning in terms of representation and diversity. That we are still here—and, more than that, command a place of strength and audience rapport—is testament to the talent and creativity of…

2 min
thinking globally, acting locally

Illustrations by Penn Ey, Chee…

5 min
why esquire must continue to push boundaries

A former sex worker was not impressed with my recent performance and told me so. As I was standing with my wife and daughter at the time, the encounter was a bit awkward. As the three of us were attending our first Pink Dot Rally together, the woman’s accusations were somewhere between incongruous and surreal. She hadn’t liked one of my recent Esquire columns. In fact, she’d hated it. I respected the opinion, if not the timing. My little girl was with me. We only wanted a pink balloon. Instead, I was criticised for using archaic terminology (prostitute, rather than sex worker, which I apologised for) and accused of mocking the sex industry (which really wasn’t my intention). The column triggered a heated discussion at a Pink Dot Rally and then a fierce debate online.…

3 min
this old thing?

The vintage shop, tucked in the back of a Brooklyn strip mall, smelled like a grandparent’s bedroom. The best ones always do. It was autumn, the sun had nearly set, and I was sifting through piles of T-shirts. It didn’t take long to find what I didn’t know I was looking for. The tee was so thin it was practically see-through. The font was zany. The graphic delightfully unhinged. It marked the occasion of Jacob’s bar mitzvah, back in ’86. Suddenly, I felt nostalgia for an event that happened before I was born—all thanks to a shirt unbound by what less imaginative shoppers might call good taste. In other words, it was perfect. Yes, we’ve been here before. Vintage is a perennial, but the codes shift over time. Chances are, if…

2 min
earthly possessions

It has been two years since his first collection for French label Berluti, and Belgian artistic director Kris Van Assche has crafted a new aesthetic for the brand. It’s no major revamp yet one that has refocused attention on design icons, while modernising a wardrobe peppered with Berluti symbolisms, both familiar and new. Berluti’s reworking needed time to settle before any form of collaboration could be introduced; doing the reverse could have defeated the purpose of building on a new direction. And with the brand’s summer 2021 collection, Van Assche seemed ready to do just that. American ceramist and sculptor Brian Rochefort was enlisted to be the first collaborator for Berluti under Van Assche. Taking inspiration from volcanoes, Rochefort is known for ceramic sculptures (of varying sizes) that are certainly atypical of the…

2 min
the next step

It’s a no-brainer that with Matthew M Williams at the creative helm of Givenchy, the American designer is bringing along his streetwear know-how to the Parisian fashion house. This is a skill he’s honed for years as the creative director and founder of 1017 ALYX 9SM. And certainly a reason why he’s garnered a following among the streetwear community. What makes a great streetwear maven is their sneaker designs, and Williams has got plenty of cachet on that front. 1017 ALYX 9SM’s chunky soled Indivisible sneakers have been a clear favourite from the brand, while Williams’s collaborations with Nike have arguably been incredibly well received. His most recent outing with the sneaker giant was an update of the Air Force 1 that was brandished with his signature rollercoaster buckle. At Givenchy, Williams…