The pandemic may have taken away the busyness of every day but for Will, the slowed down pace, the peace and quiet helped him fall in love with the simple pleasures of life.
What do you love most about Hong Kong?
I arrived in Hong Kong nine years ago to embark on a new role as Creative Director for Ralph Lauren. I was struck by the city’s energy, it’s blend of Eastern and Western culture, colonial influence and Chinese tradition. It was only later I discovered Hong Kong’s many beautiful beaches and wonderful hiking trails. I can hop in a taxi and very quickly be surrounded by nature in one of the many national parks.
In this fast-paced city, it is still possible to find moments of calm. A trip on a double decker tram making its way slowly along the northern edge of the island offers this, as does my journey home on the Star Ferry, a charming boat ride with gorgeous views of the city’s tightly packed skyscrapers.
What does “Love” mean to you?
The feeling that someone cares for you and wants to spend time with you is wonderful. Finding that person who shares your interests and passions but can also introduce you to new experiences is so rewarding. Love is unconditional and accepting of our imperfections. Love is also vulnerability, where we can express who we truly are to one another. I am drawn to the words of Dr. Maya Angelou’s description of love as ‘Love liberates, it does not bind.’
Who is your soulmate?
My family are my soulmates. I know they will give me their honest opinion and have my best interests at heart. They are the people I turn to in a crisis or when I want to share a moment of joy. More importantly, they are also there to talk about the ordinary day to day.
My identical twin brother, Benjamin also works in design, he lives in London and I speak to him most days. My sister, Emily, is always there to offer her wise words and a listening ear. Since our father passed away 17 years ago, we have become much closer as a family. We share a lot of common interests such as art, theatre, film and gardening. I believe my appreciation of good design stems from my Danish mother and stylish English Grandmother.
With the current travel restrictions, are you missing your family?
Yes, we would usually go on a family holiday in the summer and have a big gathering of all my relations at Christmas. However, I haven’t seen them in over a year, so it will be extra special when we do finally meet up.
Did you find love in 2020?
In 2020, I discovered a newfound love and appreciation in slowing down. Like many others during the pandemic, I have learned to appreciate and find happiness in simple pleasures, such as reading a forgotten book, taking up the guitar, setting out on a hike and enjoying some fresh air, peace and quiet. I joined a CrossFit gym last year and really enjoy the community spirit and camaraderie there.
What do you value most about in a friendship?
Trustworthiness would be one of the most important values I would regard in a friendship because it has several components - honesty, dependability, and loyalty. A good friendship is one where we can speak openly and from the heart, where we can be relied upon, and will stand by each other. Being a good listener is essential too and will help deepen the bond in any friendship.
What did you learn in 2020?
I realised that slowing down the pace, didn’t mean being any less productive. It allowed me to see things more clearly and focus on what is important. My life had been quite frenetic before this, with lots of travel for work and holiday trips. Now, I enjoy exploring places closer to home. Last week, I hiked up to the Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island and I’ve also enjoyed exploring the old neighborhood of Sham Shui Po.
Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate?
I would always choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate. I like the slight bitterness and the distinctive ‘snap’ you get when biting into it.
Where will be the first place you will travel to once it’s safe?
I will return to Scotland - where I grew up. I spent many summers hillwalking and camping in the Highlands. I love my hometown of Edinburgh with its medieval old town and castle. Arthur Seat, an extinct volcano dominates the skyline. It would also be great to visit Denmark, our favourite summer holiday when I was a child, and eat Danish hot dogs and stock up on licorice!
My Valentine's wish for the world is …
My Valentine wish for the world would be that we can live more compassionately and have an expanded global outlook. This year, there has been an awakening in which we have come to realise the fragility of our planet. We must put nature at the heart of the decisions we make for the future.