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The talented

jen su

Aubergine silk gown with sequin accents, Pallu Sandton City; hair: Nicolette Valjeaux at Jeauval Salon Fourways Mall; make-up: La Mer at Stuttafords Sandton City; jewellery, Tanur Collection Sandton City; shoes, Louis Vuitton; sunglasses, Dolce&Gabbana at Luxottica SA

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Jennifer Su wears many hats – literally and figuratively – and now the accomplished musician and television and radio presenter is hoping to add one more to her collection… that of author

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t’s a slightly overcast Jozi morning, and we’re about to hit the greens. This is a great way to unwind and reflect on the week that’s passed. And when the conversation is with the vivacious Jennifer Su you are guaranteed to walk away feeling happy, no matter how busy you are. She has that effect on people. Call it star power, X factor or congeniality or all of the above, but Jen is a gem, and has the uncanny ability to make you feel like a star when, in fact, she is one. The engaging Jen has been delivering business and entertainment news to South Africans for almost four years and is thoroughly in love with “our beautiful and diverse country”. “Yes, it’s been four years, but who is counting?” she says, while observing the golf course in all its vastness. It is imperative to note that Jen didn’t choose this setting because of her putting skills but for its texture and colour. With her auburn mane offset by a brilliantly bright pink 46664 golf shirt and black shorts, Jen’s smile is enough to make us forget that the sun is playing hide-and-seek. “Thanks for taking time out,” I say, to which she responds: “It’s no fuss, really,” she adds. And then it’s time for Jen to take centre-stage on the course and putt. She fumbles and adjusts her golf shoes. “I’m used to wearing heels. It’s a little strange to be in flats,” she comments. “Don’t you think Prada or Louis Vuitton should have already designed a heeled pair just right for discerning female golfers?” I ask, and evidently I’ve struck a chord with Jen. “I guess someone should have done so already, but I

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don’t think golf course directors would ever allow heels on the greens,” she laughs. “Should I wear the cap?” she asks, but we unanimously decide to let her mane blow freely. For fashion-savvy Jen it’s all in the detail – the right accessory makes or breaks your look, she says. When it comes to accessories, no-one does it quite like Jen and her array of unmistakably fashion-forward signature accessories: hats. Jen could probably pen a book about hats. “You must have an amazing collection,” I say. “I’ve been collecting hats since my early days as a singer in Taiwan,” she recalls. Jen's an accomplished musician. She was crowned winner of a national TV singing contest in Taiwan similar to Idols. During a photo shoot she wore a hat that “covered my forehead and made my head look smaller. That’s when I fell in love with hats,” she adds. As she traversed the world, released albums, lived in Thailand and Hong Kong, her career grew, and so did her hat collection. “I’ve got 200 hats!” she adds. “I love glittering cocktail dresses, fun hats, and platforms. However, I’m just as comfortable wearing a dark navy suit and simple hair when I’m anchoring the news. Hats always complete an outfit and bring out a smile – but I don’t wear a hat if I’m anchoring the news or sleeping!” With her demanding schedule, I am surprised that Jen finds time to shop for a hat, much less sleep! “A so-called typical day kicks off with the mornings at 5FM or on Sky News, then filming for SABC 3’s Expresso. The afternoons are reserved for

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LIFE & STYLE

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meetings and lunches, and in the evenings I am either anchoring news on Summit TV or at a gala dinner or a red carpet event. I also am booked for many corporate MC jobs, and when I have a gala dinner, I try to allow plenty of time to rehearse my scripts

“I’ve been collecting hats since my early days as a singer in Taiwan” and get some rest. I also have to block out times to film my TV drama Jacob’s Cross, and do magazine shoots, which take long hours,” she says. See, many, many hats indeed. But for this “proudly adopted” South African, local life is truly lekker. “Where else in the world can we enjoy deep blue skies, braais, biltong, safaris and fine wine? The lifestyle is very down-to-earth, laid-back and relaxed. Parties are a nice mix of culture, glamour, and sophistication – and people are warm and incredibly friendly,” she says. And work is rewarding. Balancing

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news with lighthearted entertainment makes it all fabulous. “I was introduced to 5FM breakfast show host Gareth Cliff and his manager shortly after my arrival in South Africa. We set up a meeting and I proposed the idea of the ‘Hollywood report’ segment where we’d bring in the latest international celebrity news with a fresh approach. I did a demo for Gareth the next day, we hit it off, and we are still having the best time doing the show together. Gareth has been such an inspiration and I thank him so much for all of the encouragement and support he's given me during my time in South Africa,” she says, beaming from ear to ear, as she changes into a stunning aubergine gown with silver sequins detail by Pallu. Organising her diary is a time-consuming task too. “Often there are about five invites per night – especially on Thursday evenings. Work takes precedence over any party. Some of the events will be more relevant to what I need to cover in my entertainment news, such as the South African Music Awards or the red carpet at the SA Style Awards – and I will also try to attend events relevant to my sponsors and business associates,” she notes. But when the

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Collared golf shirt, 46664 Mandela Foundation Range for Stuttafords Sandton City; shorts, Witchery for Stuttafords Sandton City; red silk crepe dress and hat, Pallu Sandton City; shoes, Prada

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Jen combines fun and formal effortlessly, and sometimes feels a little underdressed without a signature hat., but rest assured she more than makes up for it when she dons her Louboutin heels

lights are dimmed and the red carpet is rolled up, how does she recharge? “I love to play classical piano and sing opera. I collect hats and design berets. I relax at the La Mer Retreat in Stuttafords, Sandton City, where the facials leave my skin feeling incredibly refreshed,” she adds. And life on an estate? “Northern Johannesburg offers space and value for money, and on weekends it is relaxing to be away from the hustle and bustle that is part and parcel of a major city’s rhythm,” she says. But, there’s no place like home. “My home has a unique layout, it’s surrounded by a mirrored pool, fish tank, and koi pond... a lot of light and air and has six bedrooms, a home theatre, gym, entertainment space, and a closet to rival Paris Hilton’s!” But it’s just not ready for our camera, not yet anyway. Is there another hat that she’d like to don? “I'm working on a book with acclaimed author Paul Rubin, which I hope to release in 2012. Right now, there is still more compiling and researching that needs to be done. I’d also love to host a talk show. I’ve been a guest on numerous talk shows, but it’s a lot more fun to be in the driver’s seat!” The right hat to suit each of these roles, exists, and if not, Jen will sketch each one as necessary.

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Spread the Word Best for brunch? Mugg & Bean, Broadacres Lifestyle Centre. Best for lunch? Primi Piatti, Design Quarter. Best for home décor? Carrol Boyes, Cedar Square. Best for tea? The Palazzo at Montecasino. Best for healthy meals? Kong Roast, The Buzz Shopping Centre. Best for coffee? Café Frappe, The Valley Shopping Centre, Dainfern. Best for hats? Pallu, Sandton City. Best for hair? Jeauval, Fourways Mall. Best for a night out with the girls? BuddhaTa, Design Quarter.

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46664Fashion featured in Living in Fourways  

Jen Su featured in Living in Fourways wearing 46664Fashion golf shirt and black shorts playing a round of golf.

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