Faheem Chaudhry.
Faheem Chaudhry.
Image: Supplied

What is your personal definition of luxury?

There is such a big difference between expense and luxury. The former is about cost, the latter is a feeling of upliftment and pleasure — from savouring a perfectly prepared cup of coffee, to a spray of your favourite cologne, to the excitement of boarding a plane to an unfamiliar destination.

The one indulgence you’d never forgo?

Going to the barber once a week. I get a lot of stick for this from friends and family, who often say, “I can’t even tell the difference, ha-ha!” It makes me feel on point from the top down. An indulgence worth indulging in, I say!

What are your essential grooming lotions and potions?

Dermalogica is my go-to brand — the exfoliator, cleanser, toner, and moisturiser. Piz Buin for sun protection. Acqua di Parma cologne for the day and Salvatore Ferragamo for the night. But the most effective is time in the sun, exercise, and a good night’s sleep.

What tech gadget couldn’t you live without?

My Apple Watch Series 5. I’m a bit of an optimiser, so I love observing the data I’m able to glean about myself and my lifestyle.

Apple Watch Series 5.
Apple Watch Series 5.
Image: Supplied

If you had to choose, what is the single most sentimental object to you?

A signed Arsenal jersey from the invincible team of 2003-2004, which went an entire season without defeat. Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira, and Arsène Wenger all signed it. My aunt worked as a radiologist at the hospital where the Arsenal players used to do their scans. For my 16th birthday she got them to sign the shirt for me. It represents a year of unthought-of achievement, which hasn’t been replicated by any team before or since.

What is your drink of choice?

Sanpellegrino, Blood Orange flavour. I first had it when travelling to Capri, Italy, and every time I open that can, hear that “shhh ahhh” sound, and take that first sip, I’m transported back to Capri’s cobbled streets and enviously stylish people.

When you eat out, where do you go?

I love Tortellino d’Oro in Oaklands. It’s beautiful in its simplicity, and still run by members of the family.

What element of your wardrobe signifies your individual sense of style?

My socks. I love Paul Smith’s bold colours and stripes. They can help you blend in and they can make you stand out. That’s how I try to show up in the world too — there are moments to go with the herd and moments when you need to go your own way.

What was the last object on a shopping expedition that you instantly fell in love with?

A pair of Axel Arigato sneakers.

A watch brand that you love?

I’ve never really been a watch guy, but I love Patek Philippe for its famous pay-off line: “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” As an adman, that kind of genius really does it for me. I don’t own one, though.

Hike along the Drakensberg’s Mnweni Pass.
Hike along the Drakensberg’s Mnweni Pass.
Image: Supplied

How has travel changed for you in 2022?

Ultimately, travel is about adventure, perspective, feeding the soul, and going somewhere you haven’t been before. I found that the lockdown forced many of us to go on very personal journeys of self-reflection. In terms of actual travel, Covid-19 meant lots more local travel. In 2021, I did a life-changing hike along the Drakensberg’s Mnweni Pass with nothing but the things on my back. No cellphone signal, just the luxury of being with myself and in nature, without another person in sight.

The last place you travelled to that captured your heart?

Tokyo, Japan, was absolutely mind-blowing. It was a sensory overload in every single way. Incredible consideration goes into everything, from the check-in experience to the design of the road signs.

The last meal that really blew you away?

Wasabi prawns at The Good Earth in Knightsbridge, London. Next level!

What is the first thing you add to your grocery cart?

Granny Smith apples and medjool dates. Both to eat on their own and to slice into a bowl of warm oats. And Woolies double-cream coconut yoghurt, because have you ever?!

Image: Supplied

The best gift you’ve been given recently?

My dad recently gave me a limited-edition set of Japanese yunomi teacups, which is the most beautifully crafted gift I’ve ever received.

What place rejuvenates you?

Whenever I’m in Cape Town I love doing a run up Kloof Road from Sea Point, down to Camps Bay and then back via the promenade. The intensity of the energy in that place at sunrise stays with me for days afterwards. 

 From the May edition of Wanted, 2022.

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