Confession time. At this moment, I don’t know how to lead a luxury platform with a straight face while the world burns. As a human race, we consistently fail at valuing and protecting the Earth, children, and each other. We loathe our enemies with an absolutist intensity untempered by our still-recent isolation and are enamoured with distractions that negate the possibility of breakthrough in any needle-moving way.
But, I am told, this is also an era of revelation and radical change, a global shift in natural, political, and social alignment, and we can feel the reverberations from Hawaii, Jacksonville, and Volos to Derna, Gaza, and Niamey. How the pieces will eventually line up is a frightening mystery.
My very first Wanted ed’s letter, in August 2021, was written under the volatile shadow of the July uprisings in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, and I made you many promises. Married to my undertaking to uphold this publication’s standards and remain the number-one source of luxury lifestyle content was a commitment to an interrogative gaze, discomfort with wholesale superficiality, and a connection to the real world. I’d offer that, largely, we have done that. On this website you can read Sandiso Ngubane’s archive of pointed fashion interventions or Gary Cotterell’s sustainability drive in an impressive timepiece oeuvre or the young Declan Gibbon’s prolific, raw, and brash musings across popular culture.
You will come across Ntombenhle Shezi, James Sey, and Phendu Kuta, among others, with thoughtful art reportage. Or Tymon Smith’s curatorial brilliance in locating arthouse film in the urgent everyday. The list is longer. Our engagement with style, luxury goods, the visual arts, and culture is unblinkered, thoughtful, and intentional in its challenge to the brands, products, creators, and companies with which we interact. Equal parts gush and a stack of uncomfortable questions.
Even with that knowledge, I still find myself questioning my role in the world, as I sit in this seat, such is the relentlessness of the news cycle. It’s exhausting; I am exhausted. We may still be high off the Springbok triumph at the Stade de France and their heroic homecoming — and I am careful not to be reductionist about this historic moment — but in many other ways it doesn’t feel like a time to celebrate, given the very real global flashpoints with no such luxury.
At the risk of sounding flippant, I could sure use a break. I know I am not alone and, in the spirit of the holidays, may we find time to reflect on the year that was, gaining insight from our many misses and, just maybe, also find a gap to acknowledge growth, resilience, and perhaps even some wins. If we cannot do that, may we at least find the time to take a breath, if only for a moment, before the world’s infernos engulf us anew.
IN THIS ISSUE…
Our resident foodie Steve Steinfeld gives us his second annual Great Restaurant Report. Don’t look now if you are from Joburg, but the Western Cape remains as dominant as ever. Jozi takes a more substantial role in The Read as writer, photographer, filmmaker, and inner-city resident Lidudumalingani Mqombothi meditates on the rhythms of his beloved city. Heading way north, to Paris, we eat, a lot, including an eight-course meal prepared by much-lauded chef Kei Kobayashi while imbibing the beautiful, limited-release Johnnie Walker Blue Label Umami. For your upcoming road trip, we have assembled the best — and least thirsty — luxury cars on the market, including hybrids and EVs to keep us honest. Finally, in our home feature, we visit architect Yvette van Zyl’s Mossel Bay home, the kind of space made for exactly the kind of recharging we have ordered.