Style

Three men (and their dogs) on how to survive Chinese New Year

To celebrate the year of the dog, we rustled up three Singaporeans—decked out in Ermenegildo Zegna—and had them answer our Chinese New Year questions with actions.

BY Norman Tan | Feb 15, 2018 | Fashion

Photos with dogs by Joel Low and portrait images by Vanessa Caitlin.

What better way to celebrate the Chinese New Year of the dog than to do a shoot with our best friends? Lucie the Bulldog, Nikki the Shih Tzu, and the love of my life, Sophie the Golden Retriever. Oh, we also had Tung Lok Group's general manager Norman Hartono, model and actor Alexander Yue, as well as the always affable and super talented cardist, Huron Low. Sure, they look downright suave and handsome in Ermenegildo Zegna's spring/summer 2018 collection, but let's be honest, we're only paying attention to their canine counterparts.

In an Esquire exclusive, see our shoot with our best friends (and their owners) as we unpack: what is the best way to survive Chinese New Year?

ALEXANDER YUE | Model and Actor

How did you get into modelling and acting?
I started a year and a half ago. I was helping my friend promote and sell cupcakes at Plain Vanilla at their new space in Gallery & Co. There was a production house that took a photo of me and then approached me to do commercial work. And I was like, “Yeah sure”, and it kind of just went off from there. 

Where would readers recognise you from?
Last year I did a Singtel commercial—their long-distance relationship video called, “Goodbye Hello”—and this year, the DBS rabbit video. 

What’s your Chinese zodiac?
I was born in the year of the rooster.

Do you know the characteristics of a rooster?
Oh, I don’t know. My mom would know for sure! [Laughs] 

What’s your advice to surviving Chinese New Year?
Just make stuff out when responding to family questions. Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, just say whatever that makes them happy.

What does your dog think about your style? 

How do you feel when visiting your relatives during Chinese New Year?

The face you make when trying to remember lines?

HURON LOW | Cardist  

How did you become a cardist?
I used to hate playing cards because I thought it was a very predictable form of magic. But then I watched a card performer one day and he really blew my mind about what was possible. 

Tell us about your style of magic or card play.
I like to take something that is heavily stereotyped in a certain way—you may expect a certain thing—and surprise people or make them appreciate it in a new way. That’s a fun challenge. 

What is your Chinese zodiac?
Dragon. 

Do you think you’re a fiery character?
I don’t think so. But I think I’m very determined.

What’s your advice to surviving Chinese New Year?
Sit in the corner with your cousins. [Laughs]

What does your dog think about your style? 

How do you feel when visiting your relatives during Chinese New Year?

The face you make when doing a magic trick?

NORMAN HARTONO | General Manager of the TungLok Group

What was the vision behind TungLok’s Lokkee restaurant at Plaza Singapura?
To create a Chinese restaurant that was relevant for young people today. 

How have you made Lokkee relevant for the millennial crowd?
Constantly innovating on the dishes—creating new dishes from old traditions and recipes. We have chefs that have been making these dishes for years, but we are adding a twist by presenting them in a new way. To capture the imagination of diners before they even taste it.

You also have some healthy ingredients in there. I’ve never seen kale in a Chinese restaurant before, which is great. What Chinese zodiac are you?
Dragon.

What are the characteristics of the dragon?
I have no idea. All I know is that the rat rode on the back of the dragon to the finish line. 

What’s your advice to surviving Chinese New Year?
Stay calm. Don’t do what you really don’t want to do. You can only go to so many Lo Hei dinners. Look after yourself.

What does your dog think about your style? 

How do you feel when visiting your relatives during Chinese New Year?

The face you make when eating at Lokkee restaurant?

Ermenegildo Zegna boutiques are located at Paragon Shopping Centre, ION Orchard, and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.


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