tHe evolution of
BrAd Pitt 2019â€™s
oct 2019 R53 ( Incl VAt ) other countrIes r46.09 gq.co.zA
How to be better
TISSOT seastar 1000 chronograph. WATER RESISTANCE UP TO 30 BAR (300 M / 1000 FT). R 7 500.00
P h oto g r a P h y S u P P l i e d b y toyota
Car of the silver screen, p48
Departments 10 Letter from the Editor 12 GQHQ
Features 64 Brad Pitt’s next steps 72 No sets, no cameras, no worries 78 How to be a better man: in bed, at work and life 84 How Michael Kors became a fashion empire essentials 17 Women we love: Nao 20 Miguel: the unapologetic hitmaker 22 Minimal vs maximal 28 The best whisky brands you’ve never had 30 Inside our Father’s Day event 32 Your new earphones? Shades 34 Shaylene Morris: how she disrupted the fashion industry 36 How Mark Ronson escaped his funk 38 Why Sundays are the horniest days tHe eDit 40 The seven funny people reshaping comedy 112 How to survive a zombie apocalypse
WealtH 56 Good debt vs bad debt 59 Virtual actuary takes off 60 Free trial hack 62 How to use technology to build your network
New tech wearables, p32
tHe COVer Photography by Lachlan Bailey All prices quoted in this issue are approximate and subject to change.
08 / OctOber 2019
st Yle 90 The best dressed men of 2019 102 The return of the high-end watch 108 Eight habits of a well-groomed man 110 Directory
PhotograPhy SuPPlied by boSe
DriVe 48 Toyota GR Supra 52 Lexus UX 53 Toyota Hilux Legend 50 and Toyota Hilux GR Sport
CONDÉ NAST INTERNATIONAL cHAirMAn oF tHE BoArD oF DirEctorS: JOnaThan nEWhOUSE prESiDEnt: WOlfGanG BlaU
EDITOR In chIEf Nkosiyati Khumalo
THE CONDÉ NAST INTERNATIONAL GROUP OF BRANDS INCLUDES: UK Vogue, House & Garden, Brides, Tatler, The World of Interiors, GQ, Vanity Fair, Condé Nast Traveller, Glamour, Condé Nast Johansens, GQ Style, Love, Wired, Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design, London HQ, Vogue Business FRANCE Vogue, Vogue Hommes, AD, Glamour, Vogue Collections, GQ, AD Collector, Vanity Fair ITALY Vogue, Glamour, AD, Condé Nast Traveller, GQ, Vanity Fair, Wired, La Cucina Italiana, Experienceis GERMANY Vogue, GQ, AD, Glamour, GQ Style SPAIN Vogue, GQ, Vogue Novias, Vogue Niños, Condé Nast Traveler, Vogue Colecciones, Vogue Belleza, Glamour, AD, Vanity Fair JAPAN Vogue, GQ, Vogue Girl, Wired, Vogue Wedding, Rumor Me
Lesley Mathys Walter Hay ward
group MAnAging AnD Sy nDicAtion EDitor MAnAging AnD Sy nDicAtion EDitor
fa S hIOn
Rust y Beukes Mira Leibowitz Tania Durand
FASHion DirEctor FASHion EDitor FASHion AS SiS tAnt
Robyn-Lee Pretorius Viné Lucas Keenan Jeppe
Ar t DirEctor SEnior DESignEr gr ApHic DESignEr
Tumi Moletsane Lisa Abdellah
SEnior cop y EDitor SEnior cop y EDitor
fE aTURE S
Shannon Manuel Thobeka Phanyeko
SEnior contEnt proDu cEr contEnt proDu cEr
c OnTRIBUTInG EDITORS Dieter Losskarn (Motoring) c OnTRIBUTORS Adam Kagee, Sophia Benoit, Kate Mossman, Stuart McGurk
TAIWAN Vogue, GQ, Interculture
PhOTO GR aPhERS anD IllUS TR aTORS Rob Till, Simon Abranowicz, Elliott Wilcox
MEXICO AND LATIN AMERICA Vogue Mexico and Latin America, Glamour Mexico, AD Mexico, GQ Mexico and Latin America
c OnDÉ na S T InDEPEnDEnT MaG a ZInE S (P T Y ) lTD Acting cEo Mbuso Khoza HEAD oF FinAncE Paul Myburgh
INDIA Vogue, GQ, Condé Nast Traveller, AD
aDvERTIS InG DEput y SAlES DirEctor nokwanda Mhlambo (JHB) ADvErtiSing Account MAnAgErS Lorraine Bradley (JHB), Jacqui Erasmus (JHB), Wendy Robinson (JHB), Charlotte Nutman (ct) ADvErtiSing liAiSon MAnAgEr Natasha O ’ Connor SAlES rEprESEntAtivE itAly Angelo Careddu (oBEron MEDiA)
PUBLISHED UNDER JOINT VENTURE: BRaZIl: Vogue, Casa Vogue, GQ, Glamour RUSSIa: Vogue, GQ, AD, Glamour, GQ Style, Tatler, Glamour Style Book PUBLISHED UNDER LICENSE OR COPYRIGHT COOPERATION: aUSTRalIa: Vogue, Vogue Living, GQ BUlGaRIa: Glamour chIna: Vogue, AD, Condé Nast Traveler, GQ, GQ Style, Condé Nast Center of Fashion & Design, Vogue Film, Vogue Me cZEch REPUBlIc anD SlOvakIa: La Cucina Italiana, Vogue hUnGaRY: Glamour IcElanD: Glamour kOREa: Vogue, GQ, Allure, W GERManY: GQ Bar Berlin GREEcE: Vogue hOnG kOnG: Vogue MIDDlE EaST: Vogue, Condé Nast Traveller, AD, GQ Vogue Café Riyadh POlanD: Glamour, Vogue PORTUGal: Vogue, GQ, Vogue Café Porto ROManIa: Glamour RUSSIa: Vogue Café Moscow, Tatler Club Moscow SOUTh afRIca: House & Garden, GQ, Glamour, House & Garden Gourmet, GQ Style, Glamour Hair ThE nEThERlanDS: Vogue, Glamour, Vogue The Book, Vogue Man, Vogue Living ThaIlanD: Vogue, GQ TURkEY: Vogue, GQ, La Cucina Italiana UkRaInE: Vogue, Vogue Café Kiev CONDÉ NAST USA cHiEF ExEcutivE oFFicEr: ROGER lYnch ArtiStic DirEctor: anna WInTOUR Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Brides, Self, GQ, GQ Style, The New Yorker, Condé Nast Traveler, Allure, AD, Bon Appétit, Epicurious, Wired, W, Golf Digest, Teen Vogue, Ars Technica, Pitchfork, Them, Iris
DIG ITal onlinE EDitor Molife Kumona SociAl MEDiA MAnAgEr Arthur Mukhari contEnt proDucEr Gugulethu Mkhabela contEnt proDucEr Amy Saunders contEnt proDucEr Luthando Vikilahle BR anD PROPERTIE S BrAnD propErtiES MAnAgEr Desiree Kriel BrAnD propErtiES ASSiStAnt Ntokozo Masinga E vEnT S EvEntS MAnAgEr Thobile Sithole EvEntS co-orDinAtor Lindiswa Putuma proDuction MAnAgEr Jean Jacobs / proDuction co-orDinAtor Charné Phillips circulAtionS MAnAgEr Frederick Smit / circulAtionS co-orDinAtor Bertina Ellis pErSonAl ASSiStAnt AnD oFFicE MAnAgEr Karen Shields DIREc TORS cHAirMAn Dr Iqbal Survé Takudzwa Hove caPE TOWn hE aD OffIcE condé nast independent Magazines (pty) ltd, 10th floor, convention towers, Heerengracht St, cape town city centre, 8000. po Box 16414, vlaeberg, 8018. tel: 021-344-0500; Email: gq @ condenast.co.za JOBURG OffIcE condé nast independent Magazines (pty) ltd, vunani House, Block c, vunani office park, 151 Katherine St, Sandton, 2196. tel: 011-263-9560 rEproDuction Studio Repro printing Novus Print Montague Gardens DiStriBution Allied Publishing, 32 Wepener Street, Booysens, Johannesburg proDuct MAnAgEr Soraya Pretorius, 011-248-2418 © 2019 Condé Nast Independent Magazines (Pty) Ltd. Copyright subsists in all work published in this magazine. Any reproduction or adaptation, in whole or in part, without written permission of the publishers is strictly prohibited and is an act of copyright infringement which may, in certain circumstances, constitute a criminal offence. ‘The paper used for this publication is a recyclable and renewable product. It has been produced using wood sourced from sustainably managed forests and elemental or total chlorine free bleached pulp. The producing mills have third-party management systems in place, applying standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. This magazine can be recycled either through your kerbside collection or at a local recycling point. Log onto www.prasa.co.za to find your nearest sites.
insidE GQ lE t tEr from thE Editor
i tO O k a f ew days Of f reC en t ly tO r est a n d reC ha rg e ( re a d : b in ge-watCh
As much as it’s a series packed with ’80s nostalgia and Stephen King-esque themes – plus one hungry AF monster – it’s strangely (sorry!) quite relatable for anyone living in 2019.
th e l at est s e as O n Of St r an g er t hi n gS ) .
This year feels a lot like the series’ alternate universe, the Upside Down, in almost every way – we’re all trying to keep the monsters at bay. The characters in Stranger Things rely heavily on superpowers. When those fail, they fight with the only tools they have left: teamwork and a whole lot of attitude. Attitude means being bold and fearless. It’s both predictable and unpredictable: your next move might not always be crystal clear to those around you, but there’s no doubt it’ll be a game-changer. Sudden plot twists often feature in Quentin Tarantino’s films. He describes his latest project, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as ‘a love letter to storytelling’. And that fearlessness has its way of attracting the right collaborators: actors like Leonardo DiCaprio and this month’s cover star, the inimitable Brad Pitt. ‘It feels like a confluence of all his films,’ says Pitt. ‘There’s no doubt it’s a love letter to storytelling. It’s a love letter to LA, but it’s also a love letter to our childhood – we were weaned on the same TV shows, movies, and mac and cheese.’ Pitt gives us a peek into his next project on page 64. The same is true of lawyer-turned-podcaster and networking expert Jordan Harbinger, who shares his advice on using social media as a tool to build tangible relationships with people abroad (p62). Similarly, audacious entrepreneur Adi Kaimowitz found a way to innovate in the actuarial world, with what he calls an organised collaborative (p59). 10 / october 2019
Yet as much as it can be filled with audacity, attitude, as we see it, can be as relaxed as well as punchy. Musicians like Nao (p17) and Miguel (p20), who’ll be lighting up the Afropunk stage later this year, bring an easy and relaxed attitude to R&B that’s as sexy and future-classic feeling as it is modern. As is the case with many things, the shift towards apparel with attitude began in the street, and few people inhabit the idea of attitude better than South Africans. That’s one thing I love about this country: we’re experts at creating bold reinterpretations of existing trends – and being fearless enough to find our own. Here, the Whats – what label, what cut, what textile – take a back seat to the Hows – how we make things accessible, how we simultaneously embrace and subvert traditions, and how we make things our own. I find the interplay of identity fascinating, and it’s one that plays out every time we set out to find South Africa’s Best Dressed men (p90). With all that in mind, it’s clear that the rule to follow this season is: live without boundaries, and plenty of attitude – it’s the only way we can fight off the Upside Down. Enjoy the issue.
nkosiyati khumalo Editor-in- ChiEf
WAlt er H Ay WA rd Managing and syndiCatiOn editOr Walter’s love of journalism was inspired by Ugly Betty in 2006. More than a decade later, with a journalism degree under his belt, he now helps manage the editorial and syndication departments.
Amy SAu nderS Online COntent prOduCer Amy is a digital content producer who achieved her creds at Unisa and CityVarsity. An ex news journo, her ‘Before I Turn 30’ goals include producing a seriously humorous Netflix special about being coloured and queer in South Africa, and continuing to make her mama proud.
PhotograPhy by Dimitri otis
MORE THAN A FEELING RACING-INSPIRED ENGINEERING Through its nearly mile-long straightaway and twelve unforgiving corners, the Fuji Speedway in Japan is our proving ground for performance. And it is from this world-renowned racetrack, and the silhouettes of the curves themselves, that our F SPORT range takes its name. From the muscular exterior design and sports-focused interiors to the expressive mesh grille and exclusively-tuned handling, every part of an F SPORT vehicle works together to deliver a look and feel of absolute exhilaration. And with special performance enhancements to the brakes, stabiliser bars, suspension, clutch and chassis, every drive is guaranteed to be a thrilling driving experience.
Managing your workday shouldn’t be a distraction unto itself. These apps make your phone handle the hard stuff
From the people who brought you the iconic Moleskine notebooks, this new app keeps track of tasks, appointments and reminders. Organise lists as obsessively as you want with custom colour coding, and set reminders liberally if you need nudging. (Free on iOS and Android)
Airmail This app for iOS devices streamlines your cluttered inbox with a hyperpersonalised approach. You can tag messages with labels and colours of your choosing and customise swipe gestures to trigger specific actions. And yes, it has Undo Send, too. (Free on iOS)
THE BEAUTY OF
12 / october 2019
Pocket Pocket archives web articles, news stories and online documents into a personal library so you can read them later in the app’s distraction-free interface. Use it to collect industry headlines, then sync them to your phone for offline reading. (Free on iOS and Android)
Buffer If social media is a time suck, try automating it. Schedule your posts in Buffer, then close Instagram and get back to work or family. The app handles all the major social media platforms and gives you reports on what your followers clicked on. (Free on iOS and Android)
F O R T H E I R F I R ST CO L L A B O R AT I O N WITH PUMA,
Istanbul-based streetwear brand Les Benjamins took inspiration from founder Bünyamin Aydin’s passion for photography and travel to reimagine Puma silhouettes with the rich colours and detailing of traditional Turkish decor. Now, the collection’s second iteration embraces
Freedom Every app on your home screen is a potential distraction. But Freedom lets you block specific apps – or the entire Internet – for a set amount of time. You can schedule your outages in advance or on the fly. And if need be, you can end a session early. (Free on iOS and Android)
the outdoors, and the footwear gains hikinginspired rope laces and mountain motifs, rounding out a highly functional yet culturesteeped collection. Blends make the world more interesting. Tullamore D.E.W. brings together three kinds of Irish whiskey for a blend that’s as wonderfully complex as you are. Learn more at tullamoredew.com
W o r d s b y Ly d i a h o r n e P h o t o g r a P h y b y a n d r i a L o
THE WORLD’S FIRST • Automatic manufacture caliber • Connected smart functions • Analysis of the mechanical caliber
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Discover the celebrities heating up your feeds, the models on the come-up and get exclusive access to GQ events
S t y l e Up-to-the minute fashion and runway news,
daily style upgrades and exclusive behind-the-scenes action
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@GQdotcoza @GQSouthAfrica 14 / october 2019
@VusiThembekwayo On the latest @GQdotcoza: the Influencer Olympics.
@official_ georgewilliams Make two covers of Gentlemen’s Quarterly before I’m 30? OK.
@CSquaredSA @Siya_Kolisi draped in this three-piece @csquaredsa suit on the cover of the latest @GQdotcoza magazine.
@designedbytarontino Fam! I’m trying to get best dressed at the @bet awards this year and eventually get featured in GQ.
P h o t o g r a P h y b y L u k e k u i s i s at a g e n t e m m a , P e t e r tay L o r , s u P P L i e d b y J o Fa r a h
s o c i a L m e d i a P o s t s h av e b e e n e d i t e d F o r L e n g t h , s P e L L i n g a n d g r a m m a r
C u lt u r e The latest developments in the entertainment, business, food, fitness and tech industries
Tickets available at cniluxury.com
29-30 April 2020, Vienna, Austria THE PREMIER EVENT FOR LUXURY BUSINESS AND CREATIVE LEADERS 2020 marks 30 years of extraordinary social and economic change in Central and Eastern Europe. Together with speakers from around the world, and my Condé Nast colleagues, I plan to explore how economic development in the CEE region is creating opportunities for the global luxury and fashion industry. We will also explore the crucial global topics of inclusivity, sustainability, and the emergence of new sources of creativity. Vienna is the perfect setting for our discussions, with its history as a meeting point, and – of course – its famed coffeehouse culture! I hope you will join me to discover ‘Gateways to Luxury’.
Suzy Menkes, Editor, Vogue International
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WOMAN WE LOVE
The evolution of music British R&B singer and creator of new music genre wonky funk Neo Jessica Joshua (better known as Nao) talks about her bold and experimental sophomore album Saturn, participating in Afropunk SA and celebrating black identity Words by Shannon Manuel Photography by Ronan McKenzie
october 2019 / 17
Woman We Love
GQ:For those new to your music, how would you describe your sound? Neo Jessica Joshua: An eclectic mix of everything I listened to when I was growing up, from R&B to electronic, and from Motown and jazz to world music. GQ: What do you love most about making music? NJ: I love the creative process: sitting in a room with a blank sheet of paper, knowing that by the end of the day a new song will have been written that no one else in the world could have written apart from me. It amazes me every time. GQ: How far is your music a reflection of your identity? NJ: I’m a British artist whose music is heavily influenced by blackAmerican and blackBritish genres. Where I grew up, we listened to garage, grime and funky house, which formed a huge part of my identity as a teenager. Knowing artists of black origin were beginning to find their way on the UK music scene was inspiring. GQ: Your highly anticipated album Saturn was deeply personal. Why did you want to share this with listeners? NJ: I wanted to release an album that’s vulnerable,
18 / october 2019
honest and relatable. We’re bombarded with fake news, the political world is turning on its head, and social media encourages us to post images of only the positive aspects of our lives. In reality, life is sometimes shit. Mine certainly was at the time of making this album, which is why I wanted it to be honest and raw. Listeners could connect with me, understand what I was going through, and maybe even help someone else who was going through a tough time. The album is layered and explores many themes, such as heartbreak, freedom, guilt, hopefulness, growth and change. GQ: The album is based on the astrological idea of Saturn return. Care to elaborate? NJ: Saturn return explains why most people experience a life crisis when they hit their late twenties to early thirties. Suddenly, they realise all the plans they wanted to have ticked off by the time they were thirty haven’t been. Your Saturn return is the breakdown of aspects of your life that no longer serve you or are holding you back from becoming who you truly want to be, such as your job or your relationships. GQ: When people listen to your music, what message or experience do you
hope they take away with them? NJ: I hope people understand the importance of growing through what you go through. No one wants to go through bad times, and as a result, we can put off things that might cause us grief. I used to be like that, but now I consider my struggles opportunities to grow. When you survive difficult times, you become greater, bolder, more courageous. Life improves. GQ: You’re performing at Afropunk in SA this December. What do you love most about the festival? NJ: I’ve played at and been to many festivals in my lifetime. Even though Afropunk is fairly new, it’s already become a movement. It’s a platform that gives people of black origin the freedom to express themselves, without reproach. It celebrates the idea of standing out, and even embraces the LGBTQ community. Fitting in is boring, after all.
people around the world, and I’m honoured to be part of that.
GQ: What impact has black culture, coupled with your own background, had on your music? NJ: Black culture is everywhere in pop culture: dance, music, fashion, dialect. It’s impossible for it to not have an impact and influence on most
GQ: The Afropunk movement is all about inclusivity and celebrates black identity. How would you describe the relationship between the two? NJ: I celebrate being black through my hair, my clothes and my music. I’m
proud of how diverse my listeners are because they represent my friends and the world I’d like to live in. My best friends are white, black, Indian and Asian. We share our heritage, upbringing and culture every time we meet, through food and stories. At my shows, my fans and I connect through our love of music. I may be black, but my music is for everyone.
GQ: When she performed at Afropunk, Corinne Bailey Rae told the audience she wished this community had been here
for her when she was 15. Why are black-centric spaces important? NJ: Like me, Corrine Bailey Rae is British. Fifteen years ago, we
[the black community] weren’t represented in mainstream media at all. We had to create spaces for ourselves, which was – and still is – hard work. That’s why there must be
black-centric spaces. It’s all about visibility: when you see, you become. Without representation, many will refrain from stepping out of the shadows.
GQ: What has been the best reaction to your music at a live performance? NJ: Almost all of my shows have been sellout concerts. What an honour that is.
“even though afropunk is fairly new, it’s already become a movement. it’s a platform that gives people of black origin the freedom to express themselves without reproach”
The unapologetic hitmaker
R&B maestro and fearless artistic experimentalist Miguel lands on local soil this December to perform at Afropunk SA
Having establisHed HiMself as one of R&b’s Most sonic fabulists oveR tHe last decade, consummate artist Miguel has never been afraid to follow his impulses – wherever they lead him. Throughout his musical career, the self-described ‘dynamic, psychological thriller with sexual overtones’, has proven himself a master of reinvention. Of his musical evolution, from his first album to his latest, he says ‘Even in “All I Want Is You”, my approach has always been to offer listeners alternative sounds and themes. I want to use my music to increase their appreciation of different types of musical styles and genres.’ He achieved this when he received global recognition for his self-produced single “Adorn” in 2012. With its subdued groove and emotive lyrics, the song signalled 20 / OCTOBER 2019
a big change for the genre, paving the way for an edgier brand of R&B. Miguel’s style championed genre-bending productions while maintaining soulful melodies, inspiring other artists to expand their music beyond the conventional boundaries of R&B. His musical identity was shaped by a cultural background – he grew up in California – he describes as ‘unconventional’. He listened to R&B, funk, hip-hop, rock and jazz as a child, influenced by his Mexican-American father’s and an African-American mother’s taste. By the age of 14, his interests had evolved independently, and he
gQ: War & leisure is reflective and critical of our current culture, but it’s also the most upbeat album you’ve ever made. What did you want it to say? Miguel: The message is that life oscillates, but it’s possible to remain positive and hopeful through the back and forth. I intended to convey that message through my oscillation of life. gQ: You’ve never been afraid to experiment with new styles, sounds and influences. M: Life changes, but I decide how to feel about it. My perspective and style is often influenced by what stage of life I’m at. gQ: How has selfexpression influenced your image and music? M: I think art and self-expression are synonymous because selfexpression is the reason I create in the first place.
gQ: audiences consume music, art and culture differently now than they used to. How has this affected your creative process? M: We’re all drawn to stories and storytellers. I want to be the best narrator of authentic and honest stories that I can be. gQ: What headspace are you in at the moment, in terms of critically thinking about the music space you want to be part of with your next album? M: Lately, I’ve been reflecting on the habits worth holding onto and the ones worth letting go. gQ: afropunk sa is one of the biggest music festivals in the world. Why do you want to be part of it? M: It’s a safe space where people from black communities are accepted, and their individuality is celebrated, regardless of how they express it. gQ: does your music contribute to the rise in the reshaping, acceptance and promotion of the black identity? M: Absolutely. – Shannon ManUEL gq.CO.za
PhotograPhy by timothy saccenti
began to write and record songs of his own. With each album, Miguel has managed to fuse both halves of his creative identity: the restless experimentalist and the crowdpleasing hitmaker that millions of fans adore. His latest offering, War & Leisure, is his most ambitious project to date. Critics and fans agreed it to be a perfect blend of forward-thinking production and melodic delights, which more than embody the duality hinted at in the album’s title.
TIME INSTRUMENTS FOR URBAN EXPLORERS New BR 05 collection
Johannesburg Boutique +27 11 8830666
The icon GeomeTric FrameS Brush up on your polygons, because they’re everywhere you look these days. Whether square or hexagonal, it’s an easy way to stand out amongst the rest. If you don’t plan on going to Ibiza this summer, these shades will bring Ibiza to you. Burberry at luxottica, r2 790 each 22 / october 2019
photograph by LuKe Kuises styLing by rusty beuKes
The LabeL an ecLecTic mix
photograph courtesy of Levi’s
Built on its 140-year history, Levi’s has created one of the most unexpected culture mashups we’ve seen all year This season’s new Made & Crafted collection, Russian Rodeo, blends blocky Sovietera styling centuries old architecture, interwoven with inspiration from none other than the American West. The result channels Russian street style with traditional cowboy flare. Who knows – you might be inspired to write your own number-one single. Old Voortrekker Road, anyone? levi’s, r2 499
24 / october 2019
occupying the upper-tier of the upper-tier, B&O’s first stab at a premium true wireless earbud headphone was a winner. B&O’s renowned sound quality aside, the earbuds blended luxury and versatility perfectly. Now, the E8 2.0 updates all of that with a refreshed focus on luxury materials and ease-of-use. The charging case now holds three full charges, and 26 / october 2019
can be charged wirelessly (with an optional pad) or via USB-C. The touch-sensitive controls take some getting used to, but they don’t require much pressure at all – you definitely won’t feel like you’re jamming the buds further into your ears. Sound is still B&O excellent, and can be tweaked using the brand’s smartphone app. r5 799, bang-olufsen.com gq.co.za
Words by brad nash photograph courtesy of bang & oLufsen
The Gear cuT The cord
IT’S YOUR WING MAN FOR SOFTER, SMOOTHER LOOKING LIPS.
For 125 years, has given men every reason to smile. And now, the world’s number 1 lip care brand1 is available in South Africa to soothe, heal, moisturise and protect lips. The brand that started it all, is still the brand leading it all. Shop our range at any Dis-Chem store and selected Clicks stores*.
*Clicks stores offer a limited range only. ChapStick®: Marketed by Pﬁzer Consumer Healthcare. Pﬁzer Laboratories (Pty) Ltd, Co. Reg. No.: 1954/000781/07. 85 Bute Lane, Sandton, 2196, South Africa. Tel: 0860 Pﬁzer (734937) Reference: 1. Nicholas Hallʼs Global OTC Lip care brands Database, Dec 2017. PP-CHP-ZAF-0025
M A K E R ’S M A RK
This bourbon is all about the details. Soft red winter wheat, instead of the usual rye, gives it a full yet easy-drinking flavour. It’s double distilled in copper stills, which removes impurities for a more refined sipping whisky. To ensure consistency, every barrel is rotated by hand and aged to taste, not time. It’s topped off with a distinctive red wax seal. R329
MONKE Y SHOUL DER
AU CHE TOSHAN A MERICAN OAK Pronounced “AWK-hentosh-an”, this one is triple distilled and matured in American bourbon casks. The result delivers sweet aromas of vanilla and coconut. Try it in a whisky and ale cocktail – a classic Scottish favourite. R349
28 / october 2019
One of the bartending industry’s favourite bottles, this one is bound to win over people who don’t normally drink whisky. Richness and vibrancy combine with fruity aromas and mellow vanilla notes, making it perfect for cocktails. Pour out 100mL from the bottle (keep it for later), and pour 90mL sugar syrup and 30mL of Angustura bitters into the bottle; shake and serve over ice with a twist of orange, and you’ve got a lazy old fashioned that serves twelve. R369
THE BEST THINGS YOUâ€™VE
NEVER HAD Shake up your go-to bottle cops for something new
Words by Nkosiyati Khumalo Creative Direction by Robyn-Lee Pretorius Photographs by Karl Rogers
HAIG CLUB CLUBMAN
Taking inspiration from brand spokesperson, David Beckham, this one is all about making your own rules. American exbourbon casks give this single grain Scotch vanilla and coconut notes and a sweet finish. Going against the typical whisky-tasting rituals, feel free to try this one with cola â€“ though our favourite summerworthy Haig cocktail is with tonic and orange. R355
A night with the boys
T h e i n v e n To r C h a r l e s K e T T e r i n g o n C e sa i d, ‘Every father should remember that one day his children will follow his example, not his advice.’ To celebrate our fathers – and inspire future fathers – we held a very special Father’s Day edition of our Gentlemen’s Club series. Hosted by the dynamic team at The Hussar Grill at Waterfall Corner, guests enjoyed an immaculate three-course dinner, complemented by cocktails from Johnnie Walker. The man behind Micasa’s trumpet, Mo-T, shared the best lessons he learnt from his father, and encouraged us to do the same for the next generation. To help everyone look their finest for the big day, we recruited Sheldon Tatchell and the Legends Barbershop team to roll in with the Exclusive Mobile Barbershop.
30 / OctOber 2019
See more at g q. c o. z a
PhotograPhy by Dart PhotograPhy
Take a look inside GQ’s 2019 Father’s Day event, hosted with Waterfall Corner and The Hussar Grill
Keep forgetting your AirPods? Despair not. Bose’s first sunglasses will ensure that as long as you’re looking good, your music’s sounding good
noise sup p ression
You may think of noise cancelling as keeping the ambient noise out, but these strategically placed speakers on the arms stop your own music from leaking and suppress 99% of the sound not directed at the ear. Now your Taylor Swift secret will stay safe!
M u lt i f u n c t i o n bu t ton
r n ew ear pho nes ?
AuDibl e Ar Augmented reality sounds good, but often the actual reality is somewhat different. Bose has created an open ecosystem for app developers to create sound-only AR tools, using the sunglasses’ head motion sensor and GPS from your phone in all manner of useful ways – for example, the golf app that beeps to let you know the direction of the hole. from r4 499, myistore.co.za – Stuart McGurk
32 / october 2019
PhotograPhy SuPPlied by boSe
Along with pairing them to your phone, the nobule on the sunglasses’ right arm is multifunction, allowing you to play and pause your music (the built in battery allows up to three and a half hours of playback), call up Siri and Google Assistant voice control and even take a call.
M A K E Y O U R O W N R U L E S AT
GQ: Congratulations on taking the MINI Scouting Menswear crown. What does this mean to you? Shaylene Morris: Thank you. I can't explain to the full extent of what this means or how it really felt. It was really an out of body experience at that moment. I feel as a designer, as much as I want to be different and bring new ideas to life, I struggle to find a balance between creativity and retail. I'm constantly rethinking every step because I'm so fixated on getting my message across without words. Winning this competition was a personal confirmation to myself that I'm on the right track, and although I might doubt myself, if others believe in me this much I need to give myself more credit. GQ: How has Bi Parel been received by consumers as a unisex street couture brand? SM: Bi Parel started off as a menswear brand. Soon after, I was approached by a lot of female customers who loved my style and always asked if I made garments in their size. My pieces are versatile for the most part. It was never originally planned to be a unisex brand, but in today's fashion culture the lines are blurred between genders.
Designed to win The winner of the MINI Scouting Menswear Competition Shaylene Morris shares her inspiration and vision for her unisex couture brand, Bi Parel 34 / OctOber 2019
GQ: The idea of X-rays on garments is not only unique but next-level – what was the thought process behind it? SM: I was always fascinated with x-rays and how they capture what we cant see with the naked eye. I did research to see if anyone had ever experimented with x-ray and clothing and came up with nothing. So for two years I collected x-rays and worked out a way to use them as a part of the collection and as an inspiration for my line work, silhouettes and colour choice. This platform was the perfect time to showcase it. GQ: As a woman, what do you find intriguing about menswear and what sort of challenges are you faced with when marrying menswear with women's wear?
SM: I view menswear as an untapped market. For centuries women's wear has been leading the fashion industry. Men have always tested the waters when it came to fashion, but never ventured too far out of the comfort zone. We see over the past few years slowly men have been experimenting with their fashion sense. Right now is the perfect time to be designing menswear because we can finally push the envelope of men's fashion more than before. For the most part marrying designs isn't a challenging concept, I just need to focus on my brand identity with a more loose grunge look, and rather design for the more Tomboyish style then purely feminine looks. GQ: Men and women have different needs when it comes to fashion but you’re able to accommodate both genders – what’s the common thread? SM: I feel as though the common thread is the customers themselves. We are entering a fashion era where gender has become obsolete when it comes to clothing. People aren't afraid to wear what they want. GQ: What does it mean to be a South African female designer in 2019? SM: There has always been South African female designers but not many that venture into menswear. Being a female designer who specialises in menswear can be a little difficult as some men I've encountered along the way aren't too thrilled about the idea. At this point it's really up to me to prove that females can design and lead that ideal for others to follow. GQ: How do you envision your brand growing in SA and abroad? SM: I plan to grow my brand in SA first and collabs are a great way to do it – it taps into a market someone else has without having to prove yourself too much to them. Having a big name to back you up boosts your reputation in untapped markets that your partner has already gained. I also want to tap into apparel and sell a lifestyle brand. - THOBEKA PHANYEKO
PHOTOGRAPHY BY EUNICE DRIVER PHOTOGRAPHY & LIZMARIÉ RICHARDSON
When youâ€™ve been making watches for as long as we have, some things just come naturally.
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How Mark Ronson escaped his funk… … And wrote an album that wears his heart on it’s sleeve
PhotograPhy by Elliott WilCox
Mark ronson is feeling old .
‘I’m 44,’ he says, watching our team set up the photo shoot, ‘and I’m thinking, “Isn’t there a younger musicrelated person they could cover? Like Stormzy?”’
Ronson lives in LA now, ‘because it’s the epicentre of pop music,’ but insists that his lifestyle is anything but rock and roll. ‘I get out of the studio at midnight, and kind of go straight home.’ That is as may be, but Ronson is once again one of the most sought-after producers on the planet. In the past eight months alone he has picked up a Grammy for his song “Electricity” with Silk City, Dua Lipa and Diplo. He has won another Grammy, plus a Golden Globe and an Oscar, for “Shallow” from the film A Star Is Born. And he is responsible for the jacked-up, “Jolene”-style countrypop anthem “Nothing Breaks Like A Heart”, the hit Miley Cyrus tune that everyone’s allowed to like. These recent triumphs, however, were not a given – rather they are proof of music’s capriciousness and the endless possibility for rebirth. With Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson created a sound so popular that everyone copied it – which meant that everyone got sick of it, too. For a while, as the industry cashed in on the soul revival he’d ushered in, the phone didn’t ring: his producer friends, he says, got the calls for Adele instead. He was “fired” by The Gossip; he wrote a doomed anthem for Coca-Cola (“God bless Katy B”). There was too much clubbing – and that peroxide hair. As the noughties faded into history, he says, he was thinking, “What am I doing and how am I going to get back to being relevant and anyone giving a shit?” But fame, as Lisa Stansfield said, is like those paternoster lifts in East Germany: some people fall down the shaft and some people jump back in. In 2015, “Uptown Funk”, Ronson’s single with Bruno Mars, became the year’s biggest song, setting himself off on a new upwards trajectory. That run continues this month with Late Night Feelings, his new album of “sad bangers”. He has found his muse again – if a divorce and a period “spinning out” over self-help books can be described as a muse. In the ’80s, Ronson’s mother married Mick Jones of Foreigner, the man responsible for the saddest banger
of them all, “I Want To Know What Love Is”. There are reports that the young Ronson was in therapy from the age of eight, in New York. ‘I was sent to a therapist during divorce proceedings, but not for long,’ he says, ‘and I’ve done it more in the last three or four years. I find it helpful. I’m not constantly on speed dial to my therapist but I can get overwhelmed quite easily.’ After separating from his wife, actor Joséphine de La Baume, in 2018, he fell to much partying and to what he describes as ’70s behaviour – by which he means turning up to the studio at 3pm after a long lunch. He tried to record with Diplo (‘because, I thought I could get in on some of his EDM, Spotify thing’) and with Kevin Parker from Tame Impala (‘because he’s the coolest living musician in the world’). But he found himself insecure: ‘As long as I was working with them, I didn’t have to fully apply myself.’ Ever the pragmatist, Ronson noticed the effect his misery was having on his songwriting. ‘When I had that overwhelming emotion, I could actually feel the connection between my hands and the piano,’ he says. ‘I knew I was going to get some more interesting chords as it came through. As much as it wasn’t the most pleasant thing to go through, there was a feeling that I might be able to get something good out of it musically.’ One of Ronson’s self-help books was called Getting The Love You Want (Simon & Schuster; R216). ‘But I’d be reading Eastern philosophy, too,’ he says, ‘about how you should have no attachments in this world. Depending on my mood, I’d read a self-help book to see how to have a brilliant connection. Then I’d flip over to the Eastern stuff.’ When Ronson picked up a Brit Award for his work with Amy Winehouse in 2008, he said that it felt like the ring from The Lord Of The Rings – the longer you hold on to it, the more you believe it’s yours. But a lot has changed in the role of the super producer. Songs are a land grab now, with a dozen writing credits per track. Kanye West is the ‘peak of generosity’ where that’s concerned, Ronson says, muttering at the floor. ‘If he’s writing a rhyme and wants a pop-culture reference, he gets his assistant on a laptop to google, “What’s that thing that Elon Musk invented?” And the guy that googles will get a sum. Personally, I wouldn’t say googling something gives you a songwriting credit.’ He still has a romanticised vision of what a producer does, which is backed up by Lykke Li, who appears on the
new album and recently said, ‘His gentle spirit unlocks vocals, especially female ones.’ When I ask why he works so well with women, Ronson is worried about sounding dodgy – another sign of the times. ‘I was raised by essentially a single mother and I guess maybe I feel comfortable,’ he suggests. ‘I work well with female artists, and most of them have complicated lives and this intricate sense of emotion at their core.” But producers have to live vicariously. ‘Late Night Feelings is my first honest record,’ he says. ‘You’re aware of being a cheerleader and a support system, because that’s your job. But I reached a point where I was exhausted with trying to make irrefutably ebullient music.’ “Uptown Funk” bought him another six years in the game, he reckons. ‘A medium-size hit gives you two or three years of getting phone calls to work on other records. A monster hit gives you five or six.’ By this reckoning, his grace period is nearly over – but he’s clearly gone into extra time. ‘Anyway,’ he says, ‘when the hit “runs out”, there’s always plan B. You can produce some top-tier European acts and move to Belgium.’ – Kate MoSSMan
‘I work well with female artists. Most of them have complicated lives and this intricate sense of emotion’ october 2019 / 37
Sex & Relationships
Why Sundays are the horniest days Fridays be damned D E S P I T E M Y N E A RC O N S TA N T F RUS T R AT I O N W I T H DAT I N G A P P S, I could
never quite bring myself to completely ditch them. Instead, I would browse casually, typically when work was slow, enjoying some light banter here and there but ultimately not meeting up with anyone. Despite my lackadaisical approach during the week, however, by the time Sunday rolled around, all bets were off. Something about the day made my fingers itch to open the app and start swiping with zeal. This happened reliably week after week, so I finally set out to get to the bottom of why Sundays sent me into a horny spiral.
38 / october 2019
A cursory Google search will attest to the fact that I’m far from alone when it comes to my proclivity for Horny Sundays. As to the reason so many of us are jonesing on the last day of the weekend, the theories are far ranging. Some suggested boredom, or a general desire for relaxation, as a factor. Others posited that the day sucks so much that being horny is your only option. As it turns out, based on a survey, Sunday morning was the most common time people reported having sex, so we Horny Sunday folk are definitely onto something. I conducted a Twitter survey to further confirm my theory. To
the surprise of no one, Monday got the least votes, and Tuesday and Wednesday didn’t fare much better. That said, there were a few early-in-the-week-bone zealots. Although most of them said they used sex to counteract the shittiness of the days. Arthur, 26, said, ‘I’m fresh from the weekend. Sex makes my Mondays a little more bearable.’ James, 34, agreed with the principle if not the day of the week. ‘I think Tuesday is the worst day of the week if you work a Monday to Friday, so I usually want to have sex to improve it.’ Almost everyone who advocated for the mid-workweek bang cited the name “hump day” in part of their reasoning. According to Amee, 22, ‘Wednesday is the G-spot of the week, right up there in the middle. The worst is over, but you’re not out of the woods, and you gotta relieve some stress.’ It seems we get hornier as the week goes on, peaking on Friday (which won the poll with 24% of the votes) and waning a bit on Saturday and Sunday before a massive drop off as the workweek begins. Thursday came in a strong second place at 23%. The anticipation of what the coming weekend might bring seems to get people riled up. Those who reported themselves to be the most horny on Thursdays were strong defenders of the day. Dominic, 27, said, ‘People are getting ready for the weekend, and we all know anticipation is the thickening agent in the dessert of horniness.’ One 25-year-old woman I talked to posited that the hotness of Thursdays is a holdover, ‘There’s something hot about going out, getting down and frisking it up on a Thursday.’ Friday and Saturday were fairly obvious choices, simply because they offer time off work for most people. One friend championed Saturdays saying, ‘When you work weekdays, it’s the only day you haven’t worked a shift that
day or will be working a shift the following day. Nothing kills the mood more than exhaustion or stress.’ Can’t argue there. But what about my beloved Sundays? Was I wrong to think that Horny Sundays were a thing? No, no I was not. Sunday held its own, tied in third place with 16.4% of the votes, although the reasoning posited by my fellow Sunday stans varied slightly from the Friday night sexthusiasts. Multiple people mentioned that they used orgasms to stave off the Sunday scaries. As Rob, 25, said, ‘You’re trying to take your mind off of the upcoming week; sometimes you’re semi-hungover looking to feel better. There’s lots of lounging in comfy clothing and cuddling. I always have the most sex on Sundays.’ Almost every single person who mentioned Sundays mentioned either fear or stress for the upcoming work week, or trying to savour the last, laziest weekend day. Personally, I think there’s something almost existential about the horniness of Sundays. Sunday sex is there to validate that you have pleasure in your life when you’re staring down a 40-hour work week that’s really more like 52 (please stop emailing me at 11pm, Ziyaad from the art department). Horniness itself is an affirmation that you’re still here and you still want things – hot, enjoyable, exciting things – that don’t centre around pay slips and email chains. Getting down on a Sunday is about being alive and refusing to let the dread of Monday seep into your weekend. It’s the equivalent of booking a snorkeling session on your last day in Fiji, hours before you need to catch the plane. – SOPHIA BENOIT
“Wednesday is the G-spot of the week, right up there in the middle. The worst is over, but you’re not out of the woods” gq.co.za
I L L U S t r at I o N b y S I M o N a b r a N o W I C Z
The 7 Funny People Reshaping Comedy Right Now Introducing the new kings and queens of LOL Words by Luke Leifeste Photographs by Eric T White
Jaboukie Young-White AgE: 25 @jAboukiE The Daily Show correspondent has performed stand-up on The Tonight Show , has written for the series Big Mouth and American Vandal , and has a role in the Netflix romcom Someone Great .
Joel kim booster AgE: 31 @ihATEjoELkim Catch his stand-up on Conan , The Late Late Show , and his own Comedy Central special. He has also appeared on Shrill and Search Party , can be heard on an upcoming season of BoJack Horseman , writes for Big Mouth , and co-hosts Comedy Central’s Unsend with Patti Harrison.
iT's A WhoLE nEW ErA of comEdy. If you haven’t been paying attention, start now, and you’ll see it exploding all around you. From major networks to streaming services, social feeds and live comedy clubs, it’s a subculture-driven landscape. So we gathered seven comedians who represent this digitally savvy and wonderfully inclusive new wave. It’s not inconceivable to think that this generation’s Tina Fey, Chris Rock, or Jerry Seinfeld stands among them. So are they upending the form or staying true to its roots? We say both. As Jaboukie Young-White noted while surveying the room of fellow 20-something-ish comics at the studio where their first shoot together was being held: ‘Damn, this really is an iconic group.’ gq.co.za
GQ: People have used the term “alt comedy” for what seems like forever, but it feels like this is a new moment. how would you describe it to my 83-yearold grandmother? joel kim booster: I would say to your grandmother that this moment in comedy is about technology moving to a point where we've all found our audiences. The cake is being sliced – because grandmas bake cakes, and I just want to speak to her in a way that she'll understand – and there are more slices now. There are more audiences. jaboukie young-White: Interestingly, people always say it's a new moment because so many of us are doing traditional comedy. Almost vaudevillian, classic comedy in a way that I think an older person would be able to latch onto. Subjectmatter-wise, we're talking about new things, but a lot of the forms we use are forms that have been around for a while. catherine cohen: Like cabaret, for example. Invented by me. In 2019. jkb: The alt-comedy thing is so weird, because we've been getting that since we started together. Just because I'm talking about farting cum out of my butt doesn't make it alt. It's structured in the same way as a John Mulaney joke – it just happens to be about a life experience that, maybe, I don't know, he hasn't had. Patti harrison: I felt like “alt” was applied to me so much that I rolled my eyes and used it » october 2019 / 41
mitra Jouhari AgE: 26 @TWEETrAjouhAri
42 / october 2019
She has written for Big Mouth , High Maintenance , and Miracle Workers , and has a series coming to Adult Swim called Three Busy Debras . She’s also co-hosting the live comedy show It’s a Guy Thing with Catherine Cohen and Patti Harrison (also pictured here).
In addition to It’s a Guy Thing , Catherine has appeared on Broad City , High Maintenance , and Search Party ; hosts a podcast called Seek Treatment ; and will appear in the upcoming Michael Showalter film The Lovebirds .
Patti harrison AgE: 28 @PArT y_ hArdErson When not co-hosting It’s a Guy Thing with Mitra and Catherine, Patti stars on Shrill, writes for Big Mouth, and co-hosts the A Woman’s Smile podcast. She also co-hosts the Comedy Central series Unsend with Joel Kim Booster.
to describe myself because there wasn't a more succinct way to do it, even though I didn't necessarily subscribe to that term. mitra jouhari: I'm a mumblecore comedian. I'm really subtle.
The IT's a Guy ThInG Crew
GQ: Within this group – and, more broadly, among young comedians right now – there seems to be supportive energy. you lift each other and help each other succeed. mj: There's room for more than one of us because we collectively decided that there would be room for more than one of us, so they have to make space because we're making shows, we're hosting shows, we're making things together that incorporate people of all kinds. jkb: Before, there was this idea that there was room for one of us and whoever got there first pulled the ladder up as quickly as they could behind them. I don't feel that way anymore. GQ: Tell us about your relationship with the internet, which is an incredibly powerful tool for comedians but also a double-edged sword. mj: It's access. A lot of people who wouldn't otherwise have access to those spaces create pathways through the Internet. People belittle it because it's new. It's not as respected because it's not from the past.
jyW: That was my biggest challenge getting a writing job at first. People said, ‘Oh, well, you're from Twitter,’ and it's like, ‘Okay, but you're going to steal my tweet and turn it into a monologue this week, so why not just have me write it for your show?’ julio Torres: But you don't get to do it, because you didn't get to go to the places they went to. mj: Not everyone has the money to go to a top-class university or take improv or stand-up classes. jkb: Or accept an unpaid internship as a writer. mj: But anyone can be online. GQ: on the other hand, it's the Wild Wild West out there when it comes to joke stealing and meme accounts re-posting content without attribution. Zack fox: That shit is rampant. jyW: Someone commented on one of my Fallon sets: “This guy stole all his jokes from Twitter.” I was, like, these are the fucking jokes that I told on Twitter and now I’m telling them on TV. That drove me fucking insane. I have a weird relationship with it because although I got thousands of followers and the social capital helped me get to where I am now, I didn’t make any money from it. Ph: It's the Internet – the amorphous nature of IP now. If you're tweeting, the risk of you tweeting jokes all the time for free is that someone can take your joke structure, your tone and your voice. jkb: Interestingly, I’m starting to see more Catherine Cohens and Patti Harrisons. The lineages are starting. And I think it’s great. It’s good that there are more options to ape than fucking Carlin and Mulaney. It’s creating a more diverse pool of talent in our industry. cc: When people copy me, you know what I say? I say, ‘Thank you.’ GQ: can you make a living as a young comedian? cc: The only reason I have any money is because I do voice-overs for commercials. I don't make enough from comedy to live – not even close. I'm lucky I have money to support myself while I pursue comedy. »
funnily.There's nothing funny to me about my family being banned, so why would I talk about it in my comedy? There's this expectation for you to be an ambassador for whatever marginalised community they decide that you represent. And it's not fun. GQ: Patti, how has that dynamic affected you, as a trans woman in comedy? Ph: I don't metabolise a lot of stuff about trans people, especially in this administration, to be funny. I’m easily over-encumbered when I think about the horrific things that are happening to trans and LGBT people. It's hard to be funny about that. I understand that having marginalised status means that I might be the only trans person that someone in Middle America sees online talking about these things. There is a responsibility there. I do talk about trans-ness in my comedy, but on my terms and in my way. I like crafting jokes that are more coded. jT: You're not a pundit; you're not a guest on a news show. You're an artist with a point of view. jkb: That's the problem with Twitter. Every journalist has to be funny, and every comedian has to be a journalist. Everyone, let’s stay in our own lanes.
Julio torres AgE: 32 @ juLioThEsquArE The Saturday Night Live writer has a forthcoming HBO stand-up special called My Favourite Shapes and is writing and starring in the new Spanish-language comedy series on HBO, Los Espookys .
44 / october 2019
jkb: I had to turn down so many low-paying or non-paying opportunities when I first moved here. Even after my first Conan set. I've always had a day job. When I lived in New York, I was working 50 hours a week at a start-up and performing at open mics at night. cc: Even if you're acting on a TV job, if you're not a series regular, you're not making anything. jyW: That's the thing with the multi-hyphenate thing. That's not a choice. You have to be doing multiple things. mj: There's such an expectation that when you start you're gonna do stuff for exposure, or just for
the thrill of doing it or for the experience of learning. GQ: how has the political situation impacted your comedy, directly or indirectly? jkb: It’s so easy to feel the righteousness of a half-joke about this administration and have people sort of go along with you. It worries me because I have told jokes where I’m making a good point, but I don’t necessarily know if I’m making a good joke. mj: After working in a political late-night space, I’ve realised I don’t know how to talk about the things that I want to talk about
GQ: some of you post a viral tweet every other week that could be the punch line of a joke in your set. is that ever something you're considering? jyW: I tweeted about how I think it's crazy that people can’t be in therapy, on drugs, or take any antidepressants, or talk about raw-dog reality. I wish I just saved that to do onstage. It went too viral, and then it was on, like, Facebook Wine Mom pages. These ideas that I had that were once original are now Internet clichés. And they don't belong to me. Like I'm ripping myself off, in a weird way. Zf: Re-tweeting yourself onstage. Ph: Well, my mom has a crossstitch of your “raw-dog reality” tweet on her casket. jyW: It’s great she was able to finish it before she died. harrison: She finished it and shut the casket.
ZaCk Fox AgE: 28 @ZAckfox The Twitter virtuoso is also a rapper, visual artist, and former co-host of Vice Live.
46 / october 2019
PLAYING TO WIN This month, Africa’s top celebs face off on E! Africa’s exciting new show
EVER WISH YOU COULD SEE YOUR FAVOURITE CELEBS COMPETING FOR GLORY – and not just on Twitter? E! Entertainment kicks off the summer with the launch of Celebrity Game Night. In each episode, two teams of celebrity guests will face off as they play hilarious and outrageous party games that test pop culture knowledge, acting skills and nerves of steel. Anele Mdoda will guide a group of well-known African personalities over the course of each episode, led by two dynamic team
captains – comedian Jason Goliath, and actress and presenter Ayanda Thabethe – as their teams face off for the win. According to Jason, ‘Be warned - this isn’t a typical game show. My team will have plenty of laughs – but more importantly, we’re also going to win.’ ‘Celebrity Game Night will be the hottest A-list ticket in town,’ adds Ayanda. ‘If you’ve ever wondered how the rich and famous let their hair down and have a good time, this is the show for you to find out!’
PhotograPhy SUPPLIED by NbC UNIVErSaL
The high-energy party kicks off on 28 October at 8pm, on DStv channel 124
FOR AN E XCLUSI VE BEHIND - T HE- S CENE S LO OK AT CEL EBRI T Y G A ME NIGH T, HE AD T O G Q. C O. Z A
ToyoTa Supr a
Car Of the
Toyotaâ€™s most famous sports car returns from a 16-year hiatus. The fifth-generation Supra was developed in partnership with BMW and shares more than just its platform with the Z4. The question is: exactly how German is it?
Silver SCreen Words by Dieter Losskarn Photography by Rob Till
october 2019 / 49
RemembeR the pRevious supRa: the staR of the fiRst fast and fuRious movie and the wheels of choice foR GRan tuRismo fans? Well, the iconic Japanese sports car is
toyota supra EnginE 3.0-L six-cylinder twin-turbo, paired with ZF eight-speed gearbox
powEr 250kW and 500Nm
top spEEd 250km/h (electronically limited); 0-100km/h in 4.3 seconds (BMW Z4 in 4.5 seconds; Porsche Cayman S in 4.4 seconds)
pricE From R953 000 toyota.co.za
The Supra’s bloodline can be traced back to another movie star – the gorgeous 2000 GT of the 1960s, which is Toyota’s most beautiful car. With a long, sweeping bonnet, rear-biased cabin, in-line six-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive layout, the 2000 GT’s genes have survived five generations of the Supra. In 1967, when James Bond was driving it in You Only Live Twice, the producers had to cut away the roof, due to Sean Connery’s abnormal size. It was the only 2000 GT convertible ever made. The newest version of the Supra isn’t available topless either. If you want that, you have to opt for its Bavarian twin brother, the fabric-roofed BMW Z4. If you’re looking for a Z4 coupé, you have to go for the Supra. Which brings us to the GermanJapanese collaboration
50 / october 2019
that was seven years in the making. The companies shared a mutual respect. The CEO of Toyota sometimes builds amazing cars, like the Lexus LFA and the Toyota GT86. He loves self-driving in his race suit on Nürburgring, where he experienced the dynamic products from Bavaria firsthand. And that’s where he met the guys responsible for them. The humble CEO was even allowed to drive some pre-production BMWs on the test track in Munich. It was his passion for Freude am Fahren (driving pleasure) that lead to the collaboration between Toyota and BMW – and the new Z4. Without Japan, BMW probably wouldn’t have kept the niche product Z4 in its model lineup. Both the Z4 and Supra are neither produced in Japan nor Bavaria; but
in Austria, at the Magna Plant of Mercedes G fame. While it shares most of its components with BMW’s Z4 – like its platform, running gear, M40i engine, ZF eightspeed gearbox and large parts of its interior – it couldn’t be further from the Z4 in terms of its design. Toyota succeeded in continuing the look and feel of the predecessor MK IV: long hood, two doors, compact rear-end and inline six-cylinder with rear-wheel drive. I drove hot laps at the Aldo Scribante race track in Port Elizabeth, after a chauffeured drive with Dakar winner and Toyota works driver Giniel de Villiers. There were only two driving modes to choose from: normal and sport. The engine grew louder, the car tighter. The vehicle performed surprisingly well on the track. The eight-speed auto was fine tuned for the Supra and shifts smoothly, at exactly the right time. A 50/50 weight balance and a low centre of gravity, combined with super-direct steering, makes for some spirited driving. And the active rear differential allows spectacular, but easy to control, sideways action. Drift fans needn’t worry: the ESP can be turned off completely. On a sunny day in the Alps, I would opt for the topless Z4. But on a race track, any race track, it would definitely have to be the new Supra.
A d d i t i o n A l p h oto g r A p h y s u p p l i e d b y toyotA
back – which is exciting news for tuners and drifters.
Available at selected AmericanSwiss & Sterns stores.
Entry-level luxury Based on Toyota’s C-HR, the UX is Lexus’ smallest crossover model. GQ drove both the regular and the hybrid versions lEXUs UX Lexus wants to compete in the compact crossover market occupied by the likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes GLA and Volvo XC40. Featuring the same underpinnings as the Toyota C-HR and the powertrain of the Corolla hatchback, the UX slots into the current model lineup just below its bigger sibling, the NX. It has a naturally aspirated engine and has been fitted with an electric motor that powers the rear wheels. Thus, the 250h hybrid is an all-wheel drive, compared to the 200, which is a front-wheel drive. Don’t be fooled by the UX’s darksome facial expression – the angular extrovert is, in fact, a friendly softie. Both variants drive solidly, even when you’re taking a sharp turn at a fast speed. They can be handled comfortably on the road, which means you don’t feel bumps and potholes. The chassis could easily take on a more powerful engine.
The interior looks deceptively bigger from the outside. Passengers seated in the rear have little room – a family SUV it is not. The Lexus touchpad isn’t easy to use, to the point where it’s annoying. Hitting the right button becomes a coincidental affair. The UX is economical, luxurious and exclusive. As the name suggests, this car is meant to be driven in urban areas by (affluent) singles or couples who don’t have kids. – Dieter losskarn
EnginE 2.0-L petrol, naturally aspirated/hybrid, both paired with a CVT auto box
powEr 126kW and 205Nm/107kW and 180Nm
top spEEd 177km/h (electronically limited) 0-100km/h 9.2/8.5 seconds
pricE From R602 000 (UX 200 E) to R729 200 (UX 200 F Sport) lEXUs.co.za
PHOTOGRAPHY suPPLIed BY Lexus
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For more than five decades, the Hilux has been dominating the tar and dirt roads of Southern Africa. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Toyota introduced two special new models. GQ experienced both in Botswana and Zimbabwe
w h E n yo U ( v E ry ) s U c c E s s f U l ly s E l l a s p Ec i f i c ca r m o d E l , yo U d o n ’ t mEss mUch with t h E c o n c E p t. So
even after half a century, Toyota’s Hilux is still a Hilux. Tough and reliable. And while the new Legend 50 is available as a Raider replacement with 50 derivatives and three body shapes (single, xtra and double cab), the limited edition GR Sport comes in 4x4 auto only. Unfortunately, the 600 units are already spoken for. Engineered by Toyota’s international
motor sport division Gazoo Racing (hence GR), the Hilux GR Sport is set apart by a more impressive body kit and modified suspension. Priced at R707 400, it wasn’t meant as competition to the mighty Ford Raptor, which is about R70 000 more expensive – and impressive. But it’s a sign for things to come. With the GR Sport featuring a slightly lowered suspension, stronger shocks, stiffer front springs and cosmetic updates, Gazoo Racing is testing the Raptor market
– with room for more. Back to the “normal” model, badged Legend 50 and following in the tyre tracks of the very successful Raider. In June 2019 alone, Toyota sold 4 700 Hilux units in SA, making it the top-selling vehicle in South Africa, with more than one million sold since 1969. The newest version of the workhorse-turnedlifestyle pickup features a blacked-out grille in a gloss finish, two-tone wheels in a unique silverblack and Legend 50 badging all over the car, inside and out. They also
updated the infotainment with a 20.3cm screen. The drive itself is still very much the same. With no load in the back, it’s quite uncomfortable on dirt, more obvious in the stiffer GR Sport than the Legend 50. But I’m sure Gazoo Racing will take care of this in the near future, with more power and a suspension similar to the Fox one in the Power Ranger. Or to put it in a bird of prey context, if the Ford Ranger Raptor is a fish eagle, the new Hilux is still a buzzard. – Dieter losskarn
october 2019 / 53
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W E A LT H Create a more bankable you
Give yourself some credit How you feel about debt boils down to personal experience. Although running away in an attempt to avoid it won’t make it vanish – it may come as a relief that not all debt is bad. Senior director of consumer interactive at TransUnion Garnet Jensen sheds some light Words by Thobeka Phanyeko
The sTage you’re aT in your life significantly
affects your relationship with debt. If you’ve just entered into the workforce, receiving a monthly pay cheque could also mean you’re receiving calls from creditors, offering you anything from phone contracts to clothing accounts, and vehicle financing. If you’re wary of accumulating debt, your natural response will be to decline their offer, but if you’re more inclined to act impulsively, you could find yourself in trouble. First, you need to be able to differentiate between the kind of debt that increases your net worth and the kind that drains your wealth, also known as good and bad debt. ‘Good debt is a sensible investment in your financial future because it helps you make money. Bad debt, on the other hand, won’t help you generate an income – vanity purchases are a good example,’ explains Jensen. There are various ways to build your credit record, without accumulating debt. Insurance contracts are a good option and form part of your credit profile. ‘These include funeral polices, life cover and short-term insurance. It’s better to enter into one credit agreement you can maintain, as opposed to committing to multiple gq.co.za
accounts that you can’t keep up with,’ he says. Once you’ve secured credit, building and maintaining good relationships with your creditors is the next important step towards ensuring a good credit rating. An easy way to do this is to honour your debt commitments. ‘If you find yourself falling behind on a payment, get in touch with your creditors and let them know,’ says Jensen. Tackling debt head-on means creditors will be more likely to trust you, which will increase your chances of securing credit. ‘Failing to do so will probably increase the amount of money you have to pay for credit,’ he warns. ‘It could even affect your chances of getting a job – especially if you work in finance or any other industry that involves dealing with cash responsibly.’ Does the idea of paying for everything in cash, up front, appeal to you? Jensen reminds us that only a few people can afford to pay the full amount in cash for a home, a car, an education, or even furniture. ‘Having credit is essential for navigating modern lifestyles,’ he says. Want a good credit profile? Pay your home
insurance policy on time, or pay off a car you’ve financed or a mortgage. It acts as a gateway to accessing more credit products. ‘If you wait until you’ve saved enough cash to buy a house, you’ll probably never own one. The trick is to use credit wisely. Being smart with your money doesn’t mean avoiding it altogether.’ What if you didn’t get off to a good start and you’re already drowning in debt, caught up in a vicious cycle of borrowing more money to settle your debts? Jensen says you can break this cycle by successfully managing your finances and seeking the help of experts such as debt counsellors. ‘To avoid having to borrow from Peter to pay Paul, have an honest conversation with your creditors, who’ll help you devise a payment plan that takes into account the fact you’re over indebted,’ he says. And if you have to depend on credit cards to maintain your lifestyle, he offers the following advice: ‘paying for holidays, eating out and entertainment with a credit card also has no material benefit – all the interest you’re paying could be used to pay »
Good debt is a sensible investment in your financial future because it helps you generate an income october 2019 / 57
W E A LT H opener
how do i access my crediT reporT ? You can get a complete picture of your credit history from TransUnion, delivered in a single, easy-to-read report, by visiting transunion.co.za. You can also visit other credit bureaus in the country – once a year, each bureau has a mandate to issue a free credit report to consumers.
how do i resolve issues such as defaulTs or a bl ack lisTing? once you’ve settled a default payment, it’s usually removed from your record. Credit bureaus like TransUnion can also help you with this. If you want to speed up the process, you can log a dispute. You need to provide all relevant paperwork, including the paid-up letter from the credit provider that blacklisted you, because if your case is found to be invalid or incomplete, it stays on your credit report for the next year. once your dispute is logged, a review takes 20 working days.
how do i improve my crediT raTing personal information, such as your employer, age and address and demographics, has no bearing on your credit rating at all. Here are five factors creditors consider: 1. Your payment history. A record of your payments over the last two years. If you’ve missed payments, this will harm your credit rating.
2. Adverse listings. These are defaults (when you’re more than three months behind on a payment), judgements and administration orders. 3. Number of enquiries. This refers to the number of enquiries made about you by credit providers over the last year. A high number will have a negative effect on your credit rating. 4. Credit portfolio. The types of credit you’ve engaged with, secured and unsecured, and your usage habits. Don’t overuse store cards. 5. Length of credit history. How long you’ve been using credit. The longer your history, the better your rating.
how long will bad debT sTay on my crediT reporT – and whaT can i do abouT iT ? Default payments appear on your credit report for one year, or until you’ve settled your debt and received confirmation from the credit provider. In terms of the national Credit Act, a credit provider must give you 20 working days’ written notice before reporting your default payment to the credit bureau. A court judgement stays on your credit report for either five years or until it’s paid in full. If you don’t defend the legal summons issued to you or pay the amount claimed by the credit provider, the court will grant a judgement.
know your crediT score Jensen says the higher your score, the better; however, your number is subjective as the range varies from bureau to bureau. The TransUnion consumer credit score ranges from 0 to 999 (see below).
767 999 681 766 614 680 Excellent
583 613 527 582 487 526 0 486 Average
58 / october 2019
PhotograPhs by PePi stojanovski/unsPlash CoM
for other, more important things. This type of credit is known as bad debt because it negatively affects your wealth. It should be avoided at all costs.’ If creditors refuse to lend you money due to your bad credit rating, Jensen advises fixing your credit score. Adjust your budget and demonstrate your ability to pay for things on time. For a complete picture of your credit history, you’ll need to access your credit report. Jensen explains that a credit report is a document compiled by credit bureaus on a credit-active consumer’s profile, which details, for example, your credit and insurance policies. ‘It’s a recording of both good and bad payment behaviours. Lenders use credit reports to either grant or deny consumers access to credit.’
W E A LT H Profile
Actuarial shake-up Virtual Actuary is disrupting the industry with an innovative remuneration business model
PhotograPhy by robert kirsner
Since its formation in 2017, Virtual Actuary has been making waves with its new business approach known as “Organised Collaborative”, which allows employees to work together and share in over 82% of the company’s earnings – unheard of within the actuarial industry.
Organised Collaborative can be utilised across many industries, and a strong focus of founder Adi Kaimowitz is encouraging members to break away from their present position in the corporate world where employees don’t share in the major part of the business’s revenue or profit. “Our business model is the most disruptive thing to happen to the corporate world in the last 50 years. With the affordability of computers, mobile devices and cloud computing, anyone can work as part of a collaborative and be more efficient than a big corporate with lots of outdated managers who’re just sticking around slowing everybody down,” says Kaimowitz. Having worked as an actuary recruiter for 10 years, Kaimowitz gained great insights that assisted the creation of Virtual Actuary and its new-thinking business model. First, that the majority of other consultancy’s fees go to the business itself and second, that there was a lot of misuse in the corporate world. “The answer to rectifying all of this is embracing technology as a pillar of our business and allowing remote work be the norm. As a techempowered organisation, we chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) as our cloud partner, which allows us to interact with our clients’ data in a secure way without having to buy a R5-million server. As a start-up, it means we can compete with the leading corporations who until now were the only ones able to offer such a service.” Elaborating on the Organised Collaborative, Kaimowitz explains
that everybody works full-time and nobody is on a fixed salary. When the clients pay at the end of each month, the company splits the fee amongst those who worked on a specific client – not equally, but instead weighted on who did what. The company is only privy to a small percent of what the clients pay, with the bulk going to the pros. “Each senior actuary then nurtures two or three junior actuaries that will work underneath them and allow the senior professional to pick up on more work and build up their portfolio of clients. Everyone wins. Senior actuaries can make five times more than if they were working independently. Juniors could never get work if it wasn’t for the senior experienced actuary. The actuary can leverage their time to scale themselves up. With our nurturing process, the experts become partners of their own pipeline as it advances,” says Kaimowitz. The remuneration model has proven fruitful, allowing Virtual Actuary to enter a market as an actuarial consulting firm which has formerly been controlled by the Big Four well known consultancies. “Not only have we been recognised by the market as equals to the Big Four, but we’re also receiving large portions of work which, in the past, would never have gone to a new player in the market. We’ve recently opened an office in the US and are entering that market and competing against the biggest consultancies in the world.” – Shannon Manuel
OctOber 2019 / 59
W E A LT H The brief
f trri ee al
Every time you sign up for a free trial of any kind, you’re forced to take stock of your outlook on life. Realists accept that they’ll eventually wind up paying for this thing that is currently free. Pessimists understand this too, but are prematurely embittered even as they plug in their credit card numbers. Optimists assure themselves that they’ll keep track of when the trial ends and they’ll cancel before they are ever charged, if it turns out they don’t want to continue. Oh, the naivete. It’s not until these sunny, positive thinkers are digging through their transaction history in their banking app months later that they see it: $89 (R1 355) a year for a mobile VPN membership? What on earth?
And then they remember: It was April, Game of Thrones was finally returning for the last season, and so they signed up for a free trial of a mobile VPN to try to stream it on their phone. Only, it didn’t work because they had terrible Wi-Fi signal service, and they fell asleep whimpering in their hotel bed, watching as the spinning loading wheel of death never advanced and they forgot all about the free trial they’d signed up for. OK, maybe I’m actually talking about me here. But if you’re anything like me, you can relate. Now, there is a more convenient way for you to cancel before ever being charged: a service called Free Trial Card. It’s available now through the app DoNotPay, created by 23-year-old coder and entrepreneur Joshua Browder. The Free Trial Card is a virtual credit card you
This clever new service autocancels your free trials
P h oto g r a P h y b y t h o u g h t c ata l o g / u n s P l a s h
The DoNotPay app’s latest feature gives you a crafty digital credit card number you can use to sign up for free trials around the web and never get charged
can use to sign up for free trials of any service anonymously, instead of using your real credit card. When the free trial period ends, the card automatically declines to be charged, thus ending your free trial. You don’t have to remember to cancel anything. If you want, the app will also send an actual legal notice of cancellation to the service. The DoNotPay app will send you an email when you sign up for a service and another when your trial ends – a way of nudging you with the reminder that if you want to convert your trial into a paid subscription, you’ll need to update your payment info and hand over your actual credit card number. “The idea for this product came when I realised I was being charged for a $21.99 (R335) gym membership from over a year ago that I gq.co.za
was never using,” says Browder. As he sees it, companies that require you to put in a credit card in order to sign up for a free trial are engaging in deceptive practices. They’re counting on you to forget that you signed up in the hopes that you’ll continue to pay whether you use their service or not. This, Browder argues, it fundamentally against the principle of “opt-in” services. But since most free trials don’t work that way, Browder and his 10-person team at DoNotPay “found a way to trick the websites,” as he put it, into beginning the free trial without consumers having to put in any of their personal information, financial or otherwise. You can use DoNotPay’s Free Trial Card under any name, with any email and any address. When I generated my bogus credentials using the app, it also gave me a fake email: firstname.lastname@example.org. DoNotPay allows you to use this email to sign up for services, and forwards any emails you get from the service to your real email, after removing location and read-receipt tracking. That requires that you give DoNotPay your info though; to get that pseudonymous email address, I first had to give DoNotPay my real email address.
moNey for NoThiNg Using the fake email address and the name Brown Warthog, I signed up for Spotify. It worked like a charm. The postal code on the card the app generated for me corresponded to a town in Oregon, or so I learned after Googling. And the name did not have to match the email address. I verified that when I used the card to reactivate LinkedIn Premium from my actual real account, which I had half expected not to work, since the email address was so clearly false. But it did work. And the reason it worked is that Browder’s team is the entity doing the approving. When I clicked Purchase after putting in my false credentials, the request did not go to a bank. It went to DoNotPay. When DoNotPay’s system got that ping, an algorithm the team spent six months building looked at the code request to see if the purchase was for a free trial. Determining that it was, the system approved my transaction. You can’t use this card to make real purchases. And yet it’s a real card. A Visa card, no less, backed by a network of community banks, which have a relationship with Browder’s company. The bank network has given DoNotPay a business credit card, and allows the company to use it to “act as an agent paying for consumers.” But by now you’ve noticed I haven’t named the bank network. That’s because Browder refuses to name it. “They might shut us down if we mention their name,” he says. Why? Well, for one, the people running the bank network don’t know their
service is being used to generate virtual credit cards for the Free Trial Cards service. “Our agreement is to act as an agent for consumers on various payments. And so they do not know specifically about the free trial,” says Browder. None of this sounds exactly on the up and up to financial experts I spoke to, though they don’t think it’s illegal. When told I didn’t know who the issuing bank was for these cards because Browder would not say, Sarah Grotta, director of the Debit Card and Alternative Products Advisory team at the payments analysis group Mercator, said this: “No, no, no, no, we gotta be open about that. That can’t be a secret.” Financially, DoNotPay’s liability is probably nil, since if everything works right all these transactions involve zero dollars. But if the banks bristle at being used this way, it could present problems. He’s not worried about the DoNotPay app itself, which is doing well. Earlier this month it closed a new $4.6 million seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz. It’s also working with a local San Francisco law firm to make sure all its offerings are legally compliant and robust, and
browder says that it’s the free trial comapnies that are being deceptive, not DoNotPay has plans to become a subscription-based app that offers all its legal and convenience services for a monthly cost of around $3 (R46). Browder is hopeful Free Trial Card will be a part of that. The system seems to work for consumers. And DoNotPay has a good track record with its other services, and boasts good basic privacy policies. It has stopgaps in place in case bad actors try to weaponise the Free Trial Card and sign up for a ton of free trials and resell them for profit. But banks, Visa, and the companies offering the free trials may not be so happy. Browder’s position is that it’s the free trial companies who are being deceptive, not DoNotPay. Grotta points out that Mastercard announced earlier this year that it would require companies offering free trials for certain physical products to reach out to customers at the end of the trial period to get their explicit permission to begin charging them, so maybe a trick like this won’t be necessary for long. That sounds nice, Browder says. But until all free trials change their ways and stop asking people to opt out, he thinks consumers should have a way to make them truly opt-in. Even if that means gaming the system a bit. – emily Dreyfuss october 2019 / 61
W E A LT H ADVICE
How to use tech to build your network â€“ worldwide One of the worldâ€™s top podcasters, Jordan Harbinger, shares how he uses tech tools to form real relationships
With an affinit y for so cial influence, interpersonal
dynamics and social engineering, Jordan Harbinger is a Wall Street lawyer turned interview talk show host, and a communication and social dynamics expert.
A d d i t i o n A l w o r d s b y n k o s i yAt i k h u m A l o ; p h o t o g r A p h y s u p p l i e d b y J o r d A n h A r b i n g e r
He’s also worked for various governments and NGOs overseas, travelled through war zones and been kidnapped – twice. He’ll tell you the only reason he’s still alive and kicking is because of his ability to talk his way into (and out of) just about any situation. Here, he shares his advice on how to build a global network without ever needing to jump on a plane. GQ: You started your career as a lawyer. How did you shift to podcasting and coaching? Jordan Harbinger: I started working at a Wall Street law firm and realised that everybody seemed smarter and as hardworking as I was. So, thinking I’d get fired if I didn’t find another competitive advantage, I wanted to learn how to master my soft skills, such as networking, persuasion and influence, to learn how to generate business for the firm. I created my podcast, The Jordan Harbinger Show, so that I’d have access to the best leaders and coaches in that space, and over the past 12 years it’s grown into one of the largest interview podcasts in the world. I never thought this would turn into a “show” of its own. I was putting in a lot of time every day burning CDs and realised how inefficient this all was. There was no convenient way to host mp3 files on the Internet and allow other people to access them. Then I found out about podcasting, which was brand new at the time. I submitted my show to iTunes in 2006, and I believe it was one of the first thousand podcasts in the directory. GQ: What’s your perspective on podcasting now – do you think the “airwaves” are too crowded? JH: I don’t think the podcast sphere is overcrowded. In fact, I think there is a lot of room for new shows with novel ideas. We need even more voices and creators that don’t look like and didn’t grow up
like me (a white guy who lives in California and New York and grew up in Detroit). There’s many people starting podcasts to get rich and doing the same thing as everybody else (yammering on about nothing, trying to interview one another to turn into some sort of influencer) – there’s way too many of those. But if you’ve got something different to add to the mix, the market welcomes you, and I’ll be one of the first to check you out. For podcasting, this is just the beginning. GQ: Pivoting to networking, how has the definition of networking changed over the years – what does networking mean today? JH: Networking is now a dirty word. People equate networking with annoying sales pitches, slinging business cards over stale cookies at some boring mixer. Now, building relationships is making a return to its roots, namely getting people to know, like and trust you in a way that’s organic. I go about this by helping other people without the expectation or attachment of getting anything in return. This way, I’m free to help other people get what they want without keeping score or trying to find some angle about what’s in it for me. This is liberating and makes networking a lot easier and more fun. Networking is now about making friends and helping them succeed, as opposed to trying to figure out how to get something from other people. This makes the process interesting and sustainable. GQ: Apart from your podcasting and coaching, how has networking furthered your own career or professional ambitions?
JH: Where do I begin? I’ve met all my close friends and even my wife through the show. Also, when I hit hard times with the business in 2018 and ended up having to start from scratch, I was able to rebuild a bigger and more engaged show by leveraging my relationships and contacts. You have to dig the well before you get thirsty. By the time you need to leverage a relationship, you’re too late to create it, so you have to build your network before you need it. GQ: How do you separate networking from idle conversation or a like-for-like social media exchange? JH: True relationship building is not transactional. You don’t worry about what you’re getting out of it; you’re only looking to help other people get what they want. Usually this means introducing people you already know to one another. This keeps things scalable so you don’t have to do a bunch of unpaid work for everyone you know. When you’re doing this, you’re finding out what other people need and helping them find people who can make that happen. You’re not asking them for anything in return, and you’re not making small talk. You’re literally asking what people are working on and what they need help with, and you’re executing on that. GQ: How do you use tech to not only establish but maintain those relationships and connections? JH: One of the first things I do each day is get out my phone and scroll all the way to the bottom of my text messages. Those are the conversations that are the oldest. I usually find two to three people in there that I haven’t spoken to in years and I send them a message
If you’ve got something different to add to the mix, the market welcomes you, I’ll be the first to check you out
checking in with them to see how they’re doing and what they’re working on. This lets me see how I might help them. This takes just a few minutes each day and is painless. The other thing I do is use Contactually, a customer relationship management tool, where I keep my most important business and personal contacts. The software reminds me to connect with people that I haven’t heard from in a specific period, say 90 days or so. This keeps a huge number of my contacts engaged over time, and few people slip through the cracks. GQ: Social media has made digital interactions easy and smooth – how does this translate to in-person networking? JH: Social media has hindered in-person networking, since people think tweeting at someone or liking a photo on Instagram is now a suitable substitute for real contact. On the other hand, we can use social media to create connections that we’d otherwise never get, because everyone is more accessible now than ever before. Instead of clicking the “like” button on a photo or leaving a comment when someone has big news (promotion, baby, wedding), pick up the phone and call or text that person instead. It’s much more intimate and there’s a higher likelihood that they’ll see your message and start a conversation. GQ: What practical advice would you give to South Africans looking to grow their network abroad using digital platforms? JH: Use digital platforms to “beat” geography. It used to be that you had to live in New York or Los Angeles or another big city to have access to people doing big things. This is becoming less and less important. You can use digital platforms to start interactions and maintain relationships with people you’d otherwise never meet or befriend. Combine this digital outreach with relationshipbuilding skills and you can lay a lot of groundwork and create a strong network abroad before you ever leave South Africa. – ADAm KAgEE
october 2019 / 63
64 / october 2019
Still Searching At 55, the consummate Hollywood star seems to have the Hollywood parts figured out, using his wattage to get unlikely movies (like his new space odyssey, Ad Astra) into theatres. But inside, thereâ€™s a whole lot Brad Pittâ€™s still working out Zach Baron
‘if i’m gonna do the role, what can i bring to it that someone else can’t?’
66 / october 2019
Brad Pit t doesn’t give interviews often, and when he does, they tend to
happen in strange and impromptu places. Like this pool house, on a property that belongs to neither of us, not too far outside Pasadena. By necessity and inclination, Pitt likes to present a moving target, and so he spends a lot of time passing through spaces like this one, spaces that are convenient to something else he’s doing and that once he leaves, he’ll likely never see again.
e’s Brad Pitt, though. With him comes an atmosphere, his own weather, a heightened kind of reality that involves everyone in the vicinity looking directly at him until he’s gone. Despite that – or, maybe at this point, because of it – he’s learnt to be comfortable, at ease, just about anywhere. Anyway, picture a room we’re both strangers to. That’s where Brad Pitt and I talk. Just yesterday the Quentin Tarantino film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which Pitt stars in opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, opened in New York and Los Angeles. Pitt was also watching the final cuts of a film called Ad Astra, directed by James Gray, that was due in theatres in September. All of a sudden, people were remembering the existence of Brad Pitt – the great movie star, maybe our greatest, in not one but two movies, reminding everyone just how good he is at this when he bothers to do it. Because he doesn’t actually act much anymore. He hasn’t made a big deal about this – just gradually receded into his own life and pursuits, which in the past few years have been turbulent and included a spectacularly
public divorce. In Hollywood he’s increasingly become more of a producer and power broker, through his company Plan B Entertainment, than an on-screen presence. When Pitt does act now, it’s often to help will a film into existence – appearing just often enough in The Big Short, or 12 Years a Slave, so that he can be cut into the trailer and waved in front of the movie’s financiers. But prior to this year, the last movie he actually starred in was the 2017 Netflix feature War Machine. Before that, 2016’s Allied. His last truly great lead performance, arguably, was in 2011’s Moneyball, a clinic in easy, weary ex-jock charisma that led to Pitt’s third and most recent Academy Award nomination as an actor. So he was getting used to being out and in public – or, at least, semipublic – again. He tried to explain what it was like for him to try to move around outside of his home in Los Angeles. Whole cities sometimes feel practically off-limits to him, he said. New York, for example: ‘It’s always been tough for me. Just the paparazzi. I can’t have freedom there. So without
that – it takes the fun out of it.’ His experience of daily life is in many ways so different from most people’s that he’s learnt to strip conversations back down to their most basic and sturdy parts: how old are you? What do you do? He’s 55 and an astronaut: gone places and seen things that most of us never will. And now, for the first time, he’s playing one in a movie. In Ad Astra, Pitt’s character is named Roy McBride. In the opening scenes of the film, he’s given a mission to travel from Earth into increasingly distant space in an attempt to find his beloved astronaut father (played by Tommy Lee Jones), who disappeared years ago and who may or may not be still alive. Pitt made the movie with an old friend of his, the director James Gray, and both men will tell you that – though Ad Astra takes the form of an action film, complete with moon-set buggy chases and space capsule shoot-outs – it’s really about the ideas and thoughts and fears that seize you as you roll into late middle age. Are we alone in this world? Can we ever be truly understood – or, for that matter, ever understand ourselves? ‘Almost all of it is trying to figure out a way to express our emotional interior,’ Gray told me. ‘And almost none of it: “I gotta get the gun.” It’s about trying to find a way to express something about loneliness. To get at something that we both understood and sometimes couldn’t even verbalise.’ In the film, Pitt’s McBride is isolated and almost pathologically repressed. McBride is also a celebrity – son of a famed explorer, recognised by everyone he meets. The parallels with Pitt himself were not lost on either man. ‘One of the things that I found always very beautiful,’ Gray said, ‘is this idea that you could make a film about someone that outwardly you think has it all together but in fact is really battling inner demons. And I felt that Brad had always had that kind of danger in him, you know? And that kind of loneliness, which comes with the territory of who he is. And you use that.’ In the pool house, I asked Pitt if he found it difficult to play a character as alone as McBride is in Ad Astra. ‘Well, it wasn’t for me,’ Pitt said. He smiled. ‘I don’t know what that says about me.’ Perhaps because of how infrequently Pitt stars in a movie these days, it’s tempting to try to figure out what in Once Upon a Time or Ad Astra drew him off the sidelines and back to acting. Pitt will acknowledge that these choices have become increasingly personal as his career has gone on. “It’s been my question the last 15 years. If I’m gonna do the role, what can I bring to it that someone else can’t?’ How do you find the answer? ‘Well, it’s about bringing my personal experience, my personal humour, my personal embarrassments, my personal pains. When I watch [Christian] Bale or [Tom] Hardy, I can’t do what they do. I love watching them. And I couldn’t step into that role.’ But: ‘I want to do the same thing on my end.’ Mostly, he said, he just says no to stuff. ‘Leo and I were having this conversation the other day. I hit this point in the late ’90s or early 2000s, where I realised I was chasing these interesting [roles], yet I was failing to live as interesting a life as I thought I could.’
He didn’t say exactly when, or what movie, marked this transition, but you
can ballpark it. It’s when he goes from the Pitt who was a ’90s cinema icon – chiselled, heartthrob-y, gravely standing at the centre of whatever movie he was in – to the Pitt we know now, the one who is completely without hang-ups about being looked at, who is confident enough in his absurd beauty and charisma to do weird and character-actor-ish things with it. Watching Oprah with George Clooney and holding back tears (Ocean’s >>
Thirteen). Making quiet, metatextual statements about celebrity and manhood (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford). Wrapping himself in spandex (Burn After Reading). Scalping Nazis (Inglourious Basterds). Chewing, snacking, fidgeting, snacking some more (all of them). He paused, still thinking about why it was that he changed his attitude toward the work he was doing. ‘Maybe it’s just getting older, too. How you become more aware of time, and you’ve had more experience, good and bad, with people. And your own wins and losses – the older you get, they don’t seem like so much of a win or so much of a loss. Who you spend your time with, how you spend time – it has just become much more important to me.’ Pitt, more so than many actors, seems comfortable with the pauses and the rhythm of not working. ‘I’m very comfortable with that,’ Pitt said, nodding. In Once Upon A Time, Pitt plays a fading stuntman named Cliff Booth, doubling for a fading actor named Rick Dalton, played by DiCaprio. Cliff is the kind of character that Pitt plays better than any other living actor: charismatic, a little dangerous, stocked with a deep supply of grace note jokes that Pitt delivers with obvious glee. (‘That was a smooth leap,’ Cliff says to Rick as the two of them are slumped over beers, watching Rick jump out of a truck on TV one night.) It’s obvious what Tarantino, who wrote the role Pitt played in 1993’s True Romance and first cast Pitt in 2009’s Inglourious Basterds, and who loves the movies more than he loves life itself, sees in Pitt. He sees a movie star, a guy who can hold a shot, or a throwaway line of dialogue, and make it
feel sexy and immortal – instant film history. Gray, with Ad Astra, is after a very different side of the same performer. ‘I wanted almost to conjure a kind of ’60s idea of an astronaut, you know?’ Gray told me. ‘And this is going to be pretentious, but I had wanted to make something that was sort of the last dying dance, in a way, of an older world order. And to show in some sense how rotted it is.’ I asked Pitt if he could feel the difference in the two roles. ‘I don’t think about it in those terms. I think of prior performances that I’ve loved. I know they play. I don’t really know how they play. I don’t know how Anthony Hopkins does it in The Remains of the Day, or Gene Hackman in The Conversation. I don’t know why they work, I don’t know how they work. But I know they can work. I know they can fail.’ Pitt laughed quietly here. ‘You know, there’s films we make for the populace. And I love those. If I have one film at the end of the day that I can watch, it’s gonna be a Will Ferrell. That’s where I want to go. But if I like the film, if I like the scene, if I feel something good about the scene, something truthful – I don’t mean “like”; I can dislike, but if I know it’s quality – if I feel that way about the film at the end, I know someone else will. I can’t guarantee you it’ll be a mass audience or it’ll be a small audience, but I know. And I’ve always kind of operated that way. Meaning I know when it’s a bit smelly. You know? When it’s all said and done and it smells, I know.’ It may be hard for him to access this, but on some level, in the back of his mind, he has to know at this point that if a moviegoer’s coming to a movie with a big Brad Pitt face on the poster, that there’s some preconception. ‘Well, I always try to avoid that, having my face on the poster.
I love movie posters. I think they can be much more interesting than selling a face. And if you look back, we’ve had some good ones. But I think what you’re talking about is tone, the tone of the film. Like, a Coen brothers’ tone is very specific. Tarantino’s very specific. And this film, in a more contemplative film, that’s a different tone.’ I ask whether he feels more pleased with his performances now than he used to be? ‘That’s hard for me to judge. I know my feeling. I couldn’t watch and rate it. Because there’s a lot of other things tied to it. Like, where was I in my life at that week? What happened that day? And some I don’t even remember. So I couldn’t judge it that way. But I can judge it by feeling. Like, if I got lost in it – when the car just slips into gear and you’re cruising.’ Ad Astra looks like a film you got lost in, I add. ‘When you walk away from the scene, it’s great. Scenes are like rounds in a fight. You do all your preparation and you get ready, you get your gloves on, you walk to the ring, and it’s literally a walk. They’ll say, “They’re ready for you on set.” And you walk to the ring and then the bell rings and you get those three minutes, and whatever happens, whatever punches you take, whatever you throw back, defines the scene. And it doesn’t always go the way you hope, but if you get to a place of truth, then you’ve won.’ ‘Something that always bugs me is when they say, “Well, he’s an actor,” or “She’s an actor, actress, actor.” Meaning the connotation is that you go and fake something. And acting is the exact opposite. I just want to get that on the record. It bugs the shit out of me.’ What he means there is: when you see Brad Pitt acting, that’s Brad Pitt finding his way into a real feeling. It’s the opposite of whatever façade he might go around wearing in life. He sometimes thinks that everyone, to some extent, is performing – ‘you know, in our constructs of our personality that we present to others.’ But all that ceases when he goes to work. What happens there is entirely real. ‘I can’t speak for anyone else,’ he said. ‘But that’s what works for me.’
When Pitt talks now, it tends to be in a slightly elliptical way – he talks around himself, indirectly, rather than about himself
in any real, concrete detail. But of course, he well knows that Brad Pitt is the text of practically every movie he’s been in and most of the conversations he’s had over the past 30 years. He’s learnt to be genuine and sincere while guarding huge swaths of his life from public consumption. As with his character in Ad Astra, ‘everyone thinks they know him,’ Gray told me. ‘And yet they don’t know him at all. The whole truth is much – I don’t want to use the word ‘darker,’ but it’s not really only darker, but it’s much more mysterious.’ Still, films like Ad Astra offer clues. Dede Gardner told me it is opaque, even to her, why Pitt chooses the films he does. But, she said, ‘I think we’re all big believers in movies talking back to you. And I think it was this movie, at this time in his life, being about what it is about.’ The movie went into production in 2017, almost a year after Pitt’s wife, Angelina Jolie, filed for divorce, part of a sequence of events that led to a custody battle over their children. It’s impossible to know how much any of this did or did not affect the work that ensued. But it’s safe to say it all left him in a philosophical mood. In thinking about Ad Astra, Pitt said, he and Gray ‘talked early on about this premise of the inability to connect, which was the springboard for the piece. But now what? And how to >>
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start illustrating that? And then these other ideas started emerging around that. Then: what is connection?’ The film is ultimately pretty optimistic about the possibility of connection. But can the actor say the same about himself? ‘Oh, man, I’ve gone through everything. Like, I cling to religion. I grew up with Christianity. Always questioned it, but it worked at times. And then when I got on my own, I completely left it and I called myself agnostic. Tried a few spiritual things but didn’t feel right. Then I called myself an atheist for a while, just kind of being rebellious. I wasn’t really. But I kinda labelled myself that for a while. It felt punk rock enough. And then I found myself coming back around to just belief in – I hate to use the word spirituality, but just a belief in that we’re all connected.’ ‘One theme in the film is that faith can often be a distraction from self. A looking outward instead of looking inward. Looking beyond, not seeing what’s right in front of you. And maybe even deliberately using it for that purpose. The other big idea in Ad Astra, a film that takes the form of a son chasing after his father, is about the nature of fatherhood and legacy. What did our fathers leave to us, good or bad? What will we leave, in turn, to our children? Gray is a father of three; Pitt a father of six. Inevitably, as Ad Astra developed, they discussed this. ‘James and I had been talking a lot about fatherhood, about manhood, the way we were raised, the way our fathers were raised, versus what we want to be for our kids,’ Pitt told me, staring off into a corner of the pool house. ‘You know, my dad always talked about building a better path for us than was built for him. And he did it. So where do we go from here as men today?’ He must think about this
question, in terms of what you pass along: are my children getting the best of myself or the worst of myself or do I have any control over it? ‘It’s precisely that. Growing up, it was more about, “You don’t show weakness, tears are for girls.” And with that comes a loss of vulnerability, even a loss of taking inventory of how you feel. All that is shuttered down. And the movie was designed for him to face a catalyst, where that old regime [of masculinity] doesn’t work anymore. And it’s gonna force him to crack himself open and become more complete. As a man. And I see that with us today.’ There was a version of Brad Pitt that once existed that was the strong, silent type: think of Tyler Durden, in Fight Club, haranguing Edward Norton for being soft and weak. That performance was ironic, not an endorsement. But it had an alpha quality to it that was all Pitt – strong and good-looking and completely without mercy. Blind to whatever flaws he might have. And, to some extent, he grew up that way. He had to learn to be a different kind of man, he said. ‘Everything’s cyclical. It seems new to me, because coming from where I’m coming from and the movies I grew up on. It’s not a posing, strength of muscles, “I can do anything” kind of blind confidence, but it’s a real confidence in really knowing yourself, your strengths, your weaknesses. And being really vulnerable to and open with the people you encounter, the people you love. Being able to laugh at your foibles.’ Pitt doesn’t make a big deal out of it, but he’s put a lot behind Ad Astra. His company is producing it; he is practically, for most of the film, the only actor in it. I asked how he will ultimately gauge its success. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘for the financiers, whether it be studio or independent, that will be
monetary. And most of our films, which I feel is a mistake, get defined by the opening weekend. They’ll say it’s a hit or it’s a miss. But all of my favourite films, I found them well after the fact.’ He paused a moment. ‘I guess that doesn’t answer my fiduciary responsibility.’ Then said, ‘But it does! Actually I disagree with that. Because I’m looking at the film. Does it have anything to say in 10 years or 20? Could it still have legs? Could it still be around? History is rife with films that we love today that were abysmal “bombs” on their opening weekend. And we find them later, or we catch up with them.” In 2007, Plan B put out The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and A Mighty Heart. ‘Neither of which, by the way, many people saw,’ Gardner said. ‘And I’ve been trained, as I think most people in Hollywood are trained, to think that it was a failed year of releases, because not many people saw those films. And Brad said to us at the end of that year, “I could not be prouder. And you just watch, these movies are going to stand the test of time.” And I just sort of took this huge breath like, “Oh, maybe we get to do this in a different way than it’s normally done.” And it was totally thrilling and scary and also cool as fuck.’
Hollywood is a place where people hold tightly – maniacally – to whatever clout they have. But Pitt began lending his out to guys
who really needed it, like Barry Jenkins, or James Gray, for that matter, whose The Lost City of Z was produced by Plan B. ‘And I was in a very fortunate position at that time,’ Pitt said, ‘where I had that kind of power, where I could.’ Streaming and the further collapse of the studio system have muddied the water a bit in terms of the role Plan B and Pitt now play in the industry, Pitt said, for better – in terms of who was getting opportunities – and for worse, too. ‘I wonder about the future of film. I really do. There’s so much content out there, so much disposable content, that a lot can get lost.’ He said these days he felt like he was sometimes watching the movies he loved just vanish from the consciousness. ‘I love a slow, contemplative film – I grew up on the drive-in and whatever movies we could see, and that’s where we had three TV channels. So I look at youth today, and they absorb so much information and seem to like it more in quick bursts and don’t have necessarily the palate to sit two hours for a film. They would rather watch a series for a quick bit, and then they can follow another one if they want to or move on to something else. So I’m very curious. I’m no longer shocked now when I ask a 20-yearold, “Have you seen The Godfather?” And they say no. “Have you seen Cuckoo’s Nest?” No. And I wonder if they ever will. So that’s where I go, “Is there a future to film? What will survive?”’ For years now, Pitt has had a go-to analogy when people ask him about fame. (People do this all the time.) He describes it ‘as being that lone gazelle out on the plain. And the tigers are in there. They’re in the grass. And you’ve lost the herd. You’re not connected to the herd anymore. And it’s that. It’s that loss of privacy. And being hunted.’ I’ve always loved this analogy. The honesty of it, the way that it – in its blunt mix of loneliness and fear and the feeling of being perpetually observed – captures what must be something close to the truth, without being particularly self-pitying or angry. He’s lost the herd. It is what it is. I asked if he felt any kinship with the astronaut he played in Ad Astra: another guy split off from humankind, gone places that can only be rendered to the rest of us by way of fables and metaphors. ‘Well, that makes it sound much more noble than it is,’ Pitt said. But it shares that quality of, “No one really understands,” and you can’t reliably bridge the gap. ‘Until you see that other gazelle.’
F OR DI S NE Y ’S REMAKE OF T HE L ION KING , DIREC T OR J O N FA V R E A U SHOT T HE FIL M INSIDE VIRT UAL R E A L I T Y. H E D OE S N’ T Q UI T E K N O W W H AT TO CAL L T HE R E S U LT, B U T I T LO OK S L IKE A RE AL MOVIE— AND T HE F U T URE OF CINE M A . Words by Peter Rubin 72 / october 2019
NO CAMERAS. gq.co.za
For the 26 million people who watched Friends in the mid-'90s , Jon Favreau was Pete Becker. Not
the star filmmaker who would make Elf a holiday classic; or who'd launch the Marvel juggernaut by directing Iron Man ; or who'd update The Jungle Book for the CGI generation.
Just Becker, a tech whiz who – before wooing Monica in a six-episode arc – had become a gazillionaire by creating a piece of business software called Moss 865. It was so named for a reason. Moss 1 exploded. Moss 2 would only schedule appointments for January. Becker, convinced his idea would change the world, pressed on. Today, it's hard to describe Favreau's latest project, the much-anticipated Lion King remake, without thinking of Pete Becker. In fact, it's hard to describe the film at all. There are some obvious facts, sure. The Lion King is the next installment in Disney's series of reworked animation classics, which includes not just The Jungle Book but also live-action updates of Cinderella and Aladdin. The film's
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Bambi-meets-Hamlet plot, in which an African lion cub named Simba flees his savanna-ruling family after his father's death, is nearly identical to the 1994 megahit that remains the highestearning G-rated movie of all time. James Earl Jones reprises his role as the murdered king Mufasa, joined this time around by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Beyoncé, Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, and others. If you've seen the trailer, there's one other obvious fact: The new Lion King rides an atomically thin line between CGI animation and live action. This is where, to quote Simba's meerkat friend Timon, the going gets tough. Achieving that photoreal look, the thing that trompes your oeils into thinking you might be watching a nature documentary, wasn't simply a matter of employing space-age visual effects. Favreau and his crew shot The Lion King as one would any conventional movie: with dollies, cranes, and other tools that let cinematographer Caleb Deschanel get just the right angles. There were even lights and cameras. It's just that the cameras and lights were nowhere to be found. The Lion King was filmed entirely in virtual reality (well, save a single photographed shot). All the locations you know from the original – Pride Rock, the elephant graveyard, Rafiki's Ancient Tree – exist, but not as practical sets or files confined to an animator's computer.
Save for a single photographed shot, The Lio King was filmed entirely in virtual reality
Donald Glover records one of Simba’s songs
They live inside a kind of filmmaking video game as 360-degree virtual environments, full of digitised animals, around which Favreau and his crew could roam. Headsets on, filmmakers had access to all the tools of the trade, just in virtual form. Say you're getting ready for a scene in which young Simba talks to Zazu, his father's adviser, and the “sun” isn't falling on Simba's face the way it should. Favreau or visual effects supervisor Rob Legato could just add a “light” to boost the intensity. Outside, in the real world, is the so-called volume, which would be called a set if there were anything to it. Instead, the volume is a large open space in which the crew has set up dolly tracks or cranes – not for cameras, exactly, but for viewfinders roughly the size and weight of the cameras they're replacing. Those viewfinders are festooned with pucks, handsized globs of plastic that broadcast infrared signals. Overhead on a metal truss, a matrix of 3D sensors tracks the signals and translates the viewfinders' positions back into VR. In order to block out a scene, the filmmakers would put on their headsets and figure out exactly where the cameras and lights would go to best capture the action, using handheld controllers to move the virtual equipment around like chess pieces. Then, real-world camera operators in the real-world volume
would “shoot” the virtual environment by moving their tracked real-world viewfinders around – movements which were mirrored by the virtual cameras in the virtual environment. Two layers of reality, meatspace motions capturing digital dailies. A decade ago, James Cameron's Avatar pioneered a technique in which actors wearing motion-capture suits could be filmed inside digital backgrounds in real time. Later, on films like Ready Player One and Solo: A Star Wars Story, filmmakers started using VR headsets to examine the virtual world and even plan shots. What Jon Favreau has cooked up for The Lion King transforms VR from a handy filmmaking accessory into a high-powered, improvisational medium in itself – a Pete Becker-sized leap forward and a stirring reminder that VR is changing the world in ways you don't need a headset to see. The year The original lion K i n g Ca M e o U T, h o l ly Wo o D writers
were in the grip of VR fever. Michael Crichton had just published his erotic corporatesabotage thriller Disclosure, in which data gets visualised in a virtual world; soon after, the novel was made into a movie starring Michael Douglas and Demi Moore. (If you think that's the most '90s sentence possible, you're almost
correct.) Johnny Mnemonic and Strange Days, two cyberpunk films that made VR a significant part of their imagined futures, were both in production. Even the NBC sitcom Mad About You had an episode in which its lead characters toyed with investing in a VR start-up, ultimately putting on headsets for virtual runins with Christie Brinkley and Andre Agassi. (Now that's the most '90s sentence possible.) Still, for all the psychedelic dreams that trickled from science fiction to celluloid, virtual reality couldn't seem to worm its way into our actual lives. The equipment was heavy and uncomfortable, and it delivered laggy graphics. Besides, something called the internet had gone wide. As abruptly as it had boomed, VR faded, eclipsed by the immediacy and accessibility of the web. Visibility and viability are very different things, of course. When VR dropped off the cultural radar, it found a second life in the vast market situated next door: industrial application. As the Los Angeles Times wrote in 1995, “The technology is starting to find an important place in real estate, construction, medicine and many other realms.” Pop culture had made the public think of VR as an entertainment medium, but that limited view effectively turned the technology into an iceberg, the paltry tip of which bore little
The set of of the film makes very clear that the VR revolution did happen – It just didn’t look at all like we thought it would The actors were filmed so that their body language could be used as reference for the animals. From leFt: Florence Kasumba as the hyena Shenzi, director Jon Favreau, Eric André as the hyena Azizi, and JD McCrary as young Simba
resemblance to the enormity of what lurked beneath popular awareness. A decade or so later, the smartphone came along, spawning an industry of miniaturised displays and sensors that facilitated VR's 21st-century rebirth. Companies like Oculus realised that consumer VR hardware was finally viable, and the public began to reimagine the realm of virtual possibility – one that included a new approach to filmmaking. With 360-degree video placing viewers inside the movie, some predicted that “VR cinema” would be so transformative that audiences might never again be satisfied with watching a flat theatre screen. Alas, a century of filmmaking conventions wasn't undone so easily. When VR cinema failed to sweep away standard Hollywood blockbusters, the iceberg effect kicked in again: Guess VR won't spark a film revolution after all! The set of The Lion King, though, makes very clear that the VR revolution did happen. It just didn't look at all like the soothsayers thought it would. “ yo U ' r e h e r e WaTC h i n g Us f l a p o U r W i n g s,” Favreau says to me with a grin
as he prepares for another take. It's a February afternoon in 2018, nearly a year and a half before The Lion King hits theatres, and we're
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standing inside the aforementioned volume, which is itself inside a squat, nondescript facility in LA's Playa Vista neighbourhood. This is where the movie took shape. It's where the voice actors met to record their scenes, with cameras capturing them so animators could use their expressions and emotions as reference for the animals. It's where those real cameras then got swapped out for virtual ones, so the crew could shoot the movie. Today is one of the last days of principal photography, and it's a pivotal one, involving a tense scene between Simba (Glover), Scar (Ejiofor), Sarabi (Alfre Woodard), and a group of hyenas. Simba has returned to the pride after years away, ready to confront Scar about his role in Mufasa's death. Standing at the edge of the volume, I'm able to watch each take twice on the large screen monitors that overlook the action: once as they're filming it, and once when they play it back to examine the results. (I also could have put on a VR headset and been there at Pride Rock itself.) At the moment, the scene isn't overwhelmingly lifelike. The animals, synced with the actors' voices, walk through their predetermined paths with a perfunctory stride; the environments look impressive but not breathtaking. All of it will later be polished to a high sheen, the footage handed over to editors and animators who will spend the next
year and change optimising each stride and snarl until the finished version vaults out of the savanna and past the uncanny valley. Before any of that, though, there's a problem with the scene they're trying to film: Every time cinematographer Deschanel yells “Three, two, one, go!” a troublesome hyena gets in the way of the Steadicam. The Steadicam operator, Henry Tirl, is holding a harness-mounted rig with the general shape and feel of cameras he's used on previous films (Thor, Dunkirk, plenty of others). Of course, the viewfinder doesn't show him what's happening in the empty volume – it shows Sarabi accusing Scar of murdering his own brother. As the action unfolds, Favreau and Deschanel watch both the monitors and the camera operator, cuing Tirl's choreography. Once again, a virtual hyena walks into the frame, obscuring Sarabi. It's a bug straight out of live-action moviemaking. In a more conventional animated film like a Pixar production, this would be the “layout” phase, where CGI characters are placed in various positions for key points in a scene, with animators later filling in the action that occurs between those “keyframes.” If this were like War for the Planet of the Apes, where actors in performance-capture suits played the animals, they'd just tell the offending hyena to
p h o t o g r a p h y s u p p l i e d b y t h e Wa lt d i s n e y C o M pa n y
take five. Here, the hyena's path has already been charted by the animation team, and it just so happens to walk through the Steadicam's sightline. “These extras are terrible,” Favreau mutters. To make matters worse, Tirl keeps getting too close to the edge of the volume. But the flexibility of virtual production allows for new kinds of solutions: one purely virtual, the other purely human. To give Tirl a bit more room, Legato adjusts his scale in the world so he's a bit bigger compared with the rest of the scene – not so much that he “moves through like the BFG,” as Favreau puts it, since that would make the Steadicam shot feel swooping and unnatural, but just enough that Tirl's footwork gets him a sightline past the interloping hyena. “I'd make the move earlier,” he tells Tirl, adding an insurance policy. This time, it works. “There you go,” Favreau says. It's why he wanted to shoot The Lion King this way – forgoing the impeccable control of computer animation for the uncertainty of humancontrolled cameras. “We chased that shot for a long time,” he tells me later. “I would have never asked for that push-in had I not watched him do it in the moment.” He likens the all-handson-deck style to a jazz combo recording using a single mic rather than breaking into separate sessions to get clean solo tracks. “Sometimes
the perfect take is when you almost lose it and have to make a little correction,” Favreau says. “You could be more efficient, but when you look at the footage cut together, it begins to feel like you're looking at a real movie.” A real movie. It's a phrase he's used a handful of times during my visit. Like the movie's producers – and most likely Disney's entire marketing department – Favreau doesn't quite know what to call whatever The Lion King is. So he's defining it by contrast. He doesn't mean real like not-virtual, he means real like not-animated-at-all, the messy serendipity of its filming style lending it an organic, human quality that not even Pixar's emotional intelligence has been able to match. “We'll probably have to come up with some sort of new language,” he admits. Maybe virtual action? VGI? Some other tortured portmanteau? Right now it doesn't really matter. While no one was looking, VR birthed a new genre of film. It's breathtakingly immersive yet intrinsically real. Real in the way that Favreau, a guy whose love for movies had him serving as an usher at a theatre in Queens long before he was a director, wants to preserve. “It's nice to be able to turn to these new technologies that could otherwise be a threat,” he says, “and use them to reinvent and innovate.”
Favreau is now working on The Mandalorian, an upcoming nonvirtual, live-action Star Wars series for the Disney+ streaming service, but other filmmakers are picking up where he's left off. Across town, Fox's VFX Lab has built its own virtual production facility, headed up by the same person who developed the virtual filming techniques James Cameron used a decade ago on Avatar. (Now that Cameron is working on a set of Avatar sequels, he has said that he and the crew “live, eat, and breathe virtual reality all day long.”) With the biggest studios throwing money in this direction, you can begin to think a few years down the road, to a time when headsets have shrunk down and rendering can be accomplished in real time. What The Lion King is pioneering could eventually become something almost unrecognisable: actors in headsets performing their scenes inside the movie's virtual setting, their every line, gesture, and nuanced microexpression playing out on the faces and bodies of their in-movie avatars, all captured by virtual cameras controlled by the headset-wearing crew. The organic supercharged with a burst of the virtual, modifiers like “animated” and “CGI” withering away in the face of the infinitely possible. Don't worry if you can't picture it. It's all there, just below the surface.
guide by the insight-packed interview the multihyphenate super person gave on Airplane Mode – a podcast about living smarter and staying sane in an insane world – Sow knows a lot about how audiences are built in a meaningful way. With more than a quarter million social-media followers and a successful podcast of her own, Call Your Girlfriend, she’s got plenty of influence in the online world. But at a time when “influencer” has become a pejorative, she tries to use her clout thoughtfully to build networks, to create connection and to fund the important work she wants to do offline. In an episode, she opens up about how to build a personal brand online without sacrificing your soul (or being a dick!), while protecting time to get real shit done. She gets into what it’s like to confront your trolls, how to effectively say no to people and why you should never e-mail someone asking, ‘Can I pick your brain?’ Here are some of the best takeaways from our conversation.
Words by Clay Skipper, Sophia Benoit, Delia Cai, Drew Magary, Adam Hurly, Graham Isador Illustrations by Judi Winzker, Alicia Tatone
… Build a Personal Brand Without Being a dick Aminatou Sow talks confronting trolls, building a brand and using it for good
The one quesTion A m i n ATo u s ow g e Ts A l l T h e T i m e?
“How do I become an influencer?” ‘I’m like, “I don’t know.” We’re living in this scam economy. People just get picked. I don’t know what to tell you.’ This isn’t entirely true. Because, as evidenced
“Personal BranD” Doesn’t Have to Be a DIrtY worD ‘I don’t think about the brand work that I do as work. It’s a paycheck that I get to further other things that I want to do. Sometimes it’s a vacation. Sometimes it’s shoes. I really want that stuff. But also, it’s a real opportunity for me to be able to donate the kind of money that I want to donate to a lot of the charities that I care about, or an opportunity to talk about a lot of things that I want to talk about,
like ambition and power and money for women – and have somebody pay for it.’
If You’re GoInG to Be a DIck, Do It In Person ‘I can’t stand people who are badly behaved online. This is the one place where you can invent yourself. You can be an asshole to your family and friends – those people will love you forever. Online, we don’t know each other. We’re not a family. This is conditional love.’ How to claP Back at Your trolls ‘A couple of times, people have said really egregiously racist things. A thing that I always find interesting about trolls is that when you Google them, the only thing you can find about them is their real name and usually where they work and where they live, because these idiots don’t have serious digital footprints. The first time that it happened was with this kid who called me the n-word, and I obviously found his school. First I told him that I was going to call his school, and I 100% reported him to his parents and his school. He was losing his mind. He was like, “I’m on a hockey scholarship. Don’t do this to me. I’m so sorry,” I was like, “And I was just having a pleasant Saturday afternoon when you brought racism into my life, so you’re going to learn the consequences of this.” I think that especially as a woman, there’s so much that you have to deal with online and offline, and just this constant danger and fear. Weaponising that slightly against assholes, makes me feel pretty good.’
… aPologise after a fight Time to swallow your pride and say that magic S-word ‘ lov e m e A n s n e v e r h Av i n g To sAy yo u ’ r e s o r ry ’ is one of the most insidious aphorisms ever to
come from a cheesy romantic movie. If anything, love – especially the kind that includes living with someone – gives you extra incentive to apologise. Yes, saying sorry can be hard, but it’s way better than suffering your partner’s icy stares from across the kitchen table for three days. Most of us aren’t very good at apologising, especially after a fight. Of course, it would be great if you sidestepped an argument altogether by, say, waiting to talk until you’re more calm. Or until you’ve eaten. Or remembering that it’s never you versus your partner, it’s you and your partner versus a problem. No matter how good you get at communicating maturely, disagreements will happen. Here’s how to say sorry afterward.
sHoulD You aPoloGIse? In a word: yes. Apologising isn’t always about being wrong, sometimes it’s about the way you said or did something, or how someone else was affected by what you said or did. Even if you feel that you were and still are right that you guys went to her parents’ for Christmas last year (and the year before), you can still apologise after your blow-out fight for how it went down. You also don’t need to hold on to sorrys like you only get 140 in your entire life. The key is to match the size of the sorry to the size of the conflict. If you were a total grouch last week because of work, you can acknowledge that you sucked to be around and that you’re sorry for it without sitting down and mapping out the steps you’re going to take to never be grouchy again. Simple sorrys are surprisingly effective. But when you do have a nastier conflict, and especially if you said or did something hurtful, you need to apologise and apologise well. wHat If You’re not wronG? Saying sorry is, in some ways, a ritual; it’s lining up to shake hands after the game. It’s a reminder that ultimately, no matter how corny this is to say, you and your partner are on the same team. You can admit you’re wrong without saying sorry, and you can say you’re sorry even if you feel that you’re not wrong. The key here is to never say, ‘I’m sorry if that hurt your feelings; I’m not wrong, but I’m sorry that you’re upset.’ That is not a good apology, and I, along with every other woman I can find, will haunt your ass if you pull that shit. An apology is never the right time to go back over who was wrong and who was right. Nor is an apology a time to defend yourself. Doing so is like blowing out the candles of someone else’s birthday cake; it makes things about you. So what should you do? aPoloGIse for wHat You’re sorrY for. Take some time to think about what you could have done better in the situation. It can be as simple as ‘I’m sorry that I waited to tell you about these plans until the last minute
and put you in a bad position.’ It could be ‘I’m sorry for my tone earlier; that wasn’t cool.’ Be as specific as possible. You can only apologise for what you did; you cannot apologise for someone else’s reaction, which is why ‘I’m sorry you’re hurt’ doesn’t count. You can, however, say, ‘I’m sorry about spending money on a new denim jacket when I was supposed to be saving for our trip. I know the trip is important to you, and I’m sorry doing that made you feel like I don’t care.’ A good rule of thumb is that the only subject that should come after ‘I’m sorry’ is ‘I.’
tHe sorrY formula. I’ve written and shouted about this a lot, so feel free to roll your eyes if I’m repeating myself, but if you’re an adult, you’re responsible for both your intent and your impact. So even if you didn’t mean to hurt your partner’s feelings, you’re responsible if you did. I know; being an adult sucks. Just try telling a traffic officer that you didn’t intend to stay in the space more than two hours. See what happens. A successful apology focuses on the results of your actions rather than what you wanted the results to be. It may help to mention what you intended. ‘I didn’t text you while you were out of town because I wanted you to have fun,’ and then follow up with an understanding of how that didn’t work. ‘But I see how that came across as ignoring you. Sorry!’ But don’t belabour the point. Another key to a good apology is actually knowing what you did wrong and then owning up to it. So if you don’t know what you’re apologising for, but your partner is upset and you don’t want them to be, you’re not prepared to apologise yet. Talk it out first. Ask them what they’re upset about tactfully, if need be! You can literally say, ‘Hey, I want to make sure I don’t fuck up like that again. What is it that bothered you about what I did?’ Which brings us to the last step of a good apology: don’t fuck up like that again. Or at least make a concerted effort not to. Find fun, new ways to fuck up! Don’t be the person who has to be reminded about the same thing every three months. >>
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guide when AriAnA grAnde’s “ThAnk u, n e x T ” h i T T h e A i rwAv e s A bo u T A y e A r Ag o, it felt like
a break in ex protocol. Rather than wallowing in soul-crushing postbreakup sadness or fiery rage, it became trendy to think fondly of a failed relationship, to celebrate your ex, not because you want to get back together, but because you recognise that they were once an important part of your life. And, with the planet melting, maybe now isn’t the time to harbour grudges against our former flames. Maybe now is the time to show each other some appreciation. But while we know reflexively what constitutes a bad ex, the definition of a “good ex” is way more nebulous. As someone who’s not personally spectacular at breakup aftermath and could stand to learn a thing or two, I talked to a couple dozen people about what distinguishes the good exes from the bad exes, and how to nail the art of staying friendly-ish with your past flames.
… Be a good ex It’s not quite the same as staying friends, and it’s not for everyone
1. tHe rIGHt amount of contact wIll varY sItuatIonallY All good exes leave the past behind, but some people take that expression literally, preferring to largely refrain from any kind of direct contact after a breakup. But you might also have one of those unicorn ex situations, where you’re able to turn a past relationship into genuine friendship. I talked to one woman, Jesse, who became both roommates and best friends with an ex. They’d met on Tinder, dated for
a couple of winter months before Jesse broke it off, and later that summer, she reached back out. ‘I said something like, “I would love to hang out, and if you feel like that’s approachable for you, let me know”,’ Jesse told me, recalling how there were naturally built-in boundaries during their first hangout in the form of her ex’s friends. Oneon-one time followed easily, especially after both happened to move to the same neighbourhood and realised their new apartments were in walking distance. By the time tricky roommate situations cropped up for each of them, it had been almost two years since their breakup – and moving in together seemed like a logical solution between friends. For most people though, good ex experiences fall somewhere in the middle, in the form of past partners who say happy birthday or recommend you for a job opportunity. In other words, the ideal ex strikes the balance between being present, but not active, in your life. It could arise out of necessity: maybe you guys work together or share a small enough social scene where it’s logistically helpful to make peace.
2. a GooD ex Is someone unIquelY qualIfIeD to call You on Your BullsHIt Lori Gottlieb, a therapist and author, told me how staying in touch with our most formative exes can actually do us good. ‘If you dated someone right out of uni or in your early/mid 20s, and it didn’t work out, that’s a really interesting
time when you’re discovering yourself,’ Gottlieb explained. ‘And that person was with you for that. That person knew you in a way that your future partners won’t know you.’ That is, you can always tell your new boyfriends about your old uni self, but it’ll never be the same as if they’d actually been there on the campus with you, trying (and failing!) to figure out how to be a person in the world. That perspective not only can keep you grounded during the tough times, but they can also help you out with current and future relationships. After all, your exes are the only ones who know what it’s like to date you. ‘Your friends have never been in an intimate relationship with you, so they don’t know all the stuff that you do,’ Gottlieb pointed out. ‘But your ex does. And your ex can give you some really good, loving feedback’ – or, as one woman put it to me, call you on your bullshit. Good exes can even help you hone in on what you’re looking for in your next partner. Sidd, a consultant, told me about a former girlfriend he stays in touch with online. Reminiscing over old Facebook photos that pop up on their timelines is one of their favourite ways to check in. For Sidd, these memories aren’t “wasted.” Instead, they’ve helped him appreciate his past relationship even more. ‘I was just routinely exposed to personal qualities [in her] that I’m increasingly realising are very rare,’ he said, reflecting on his ex. ‘For better or worse, she’s set the standard for future significant others.’
m y k i ds A r e n ow AT T h e Ag e w h e r e T h e y AcT i v e ly q u e s T i o n The fuTure uTiliT y o f T h i n g s T h AT T h e y h Av e To l e A r n i n s c h o o l . Every
kid in recorded history thinks that they invented the ‘When will I ever use algebra in the real world?’ gripe. Discovering that it’s not an original complaint and having it dismissed outright doesn’t stop them from making it, either. I’ve tried to frame my answer to this question as candidly as possible, telling my children that they go to school to be smart, not just to fit in as cogs in capitalism’s elaborate machinery. But they only wanna know what’s useful and what isn’t. On a superficial level, this is fair. Kids want to learn, but they want to know that they’re learning something for a reason. So I’m gonna acquiesce to this petty whining for a moment by taking off my Dad Hat and putting on my Life Coach pants so that I can tell you kids out there some genuinely useful shit to carry with you out into the big bad world. Regardless of whether you attend a school that teaches you liberals arts basics or a technical school that trains you in a specific craft, few schools ever teach you what it means to actually be a professional: to be a dependable and respected member of the workforce. Want to be like me, a haughty keyboard cowboy who otherwise meekly respects the parameters of good workplace behaviour? Then follow these simple rules, which very much do apply to you:
Be on tIme You know who was
reportedly never late to meetings? Anthony Bourdain. The rocking-est rock star of the food world, and he was 20 minutes early to everything. Some people are habitually late and want you to accept their lateness as a given, perhaps even as a charming attribute. It’s not. It sucks. Lateness is the hallmark of inconsiderate dickheads trying to look important and openly trying to avoid wasting their own precious time at the expense of yours. Your time is of no importance to shitty late people, who inherently presume that their time is more valuable. This, my friends, is unprofessional.
Don’t Burn BrIDGes Everyone has to work with a dickhead on occasion. I’m not talking about creeps or corrupt bosses who commit wanton acts of harassment and criminality on the job. By all means, torch those bastards. I’m talking about basic, legal fuckheadery. It’s only human to want to quit a miserable job in style, walking out the door with double birds hoisted and dragging everyone you hate on social media after the fact. This is a tempting thing to do, but it’ll end up fucking you over in the long run. You never know who you’ll have to work with again, and you never know if a future employer may blanch at the prospect of hiring the author of a “Fuck All Y’all” resignation letter that went viral. work soBer Take it from a guy who’s gone back to the office after downing a few pints while watching the opening rounds of a sports tournament: working drunk isn’t terribly
productive. It’s depressing and shitty, actually. The fact that musical icons wrote and/or performed while less than sober should not encourage you to do likewise. Are you John Belushi? You are not John Belushi. You’re Ed from accounting.
Have stanDarDs for Yourself anD lIve uP to tHem The toughest phase of my professional career was transitioning from being someone who waits to be told what to do to being someone who actively thinks of productive independent projects and endeavours to make them a reality. That takes forever to happen, mostly because bosses yell at you to be a self-starter but often neglect to teach you how, and they fail to give you the resources to do it. That’s how you end up at a new job dying to make a good impression on everyone but failing to assess what you want out of the job and then working to get it. It’s hard to be self-disciplined in the workforce, because doing what you’re told is easier on your brain and, frankly, school requires so much self-discipline that it can sour you on the practise. In my 20s, all I wanted to do was get out of work and get to the bar. I wasn’t the most professional ad exec. You need to have your own standards. Noel Gallagher makes a point of writing new songs every day, even when they’re songs that he stole from other people. You gotta have a routine, and you gotta have goals, and you gotta abide by them. They don’t have to be lofty goals. You don’t have to set a deadline to
invent the flying car. You just have to have your own expectations and labour to meet them. Do your work for your own sake. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Having my own goals is how I ended up making bacon gravy one time. That’s a true story. >>
… Be a Professional What it takes to be a good colleague. (Not much!)
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guide mouth, including between the gums.
… fix Bad Breath Once and for all
unless iT’s c l i n i cA l , your
bad breath is entirely correctable and preventable. This means there are no excuses for rancid first impressions, or even mood-killing morning breath. Fixing bad breath comes down to the right products, a proper and dedicated oral regimen, and a conscious diet (with plenty of hydration). While that may seem like a lot, it’s only going to require a few tiny alterations or additions to your existing regimen. The payoff is that nobody associates you with a foul mouth anymore, unless you curse like a sailor. And that’s a really big achievement, especially if bad breath has been plaguing you. It’s the same as having BO: people will always remember what you smelled like, and it will impact whether or
not they think of you positively or negatively. It’s not that you need to have good-smelling breath, either. That’s a lofty goal that’s only possible if you’re chewing fresh pieces of gum all day. People would just prefer that you have neutral breath, which is rather easy to achieve. The regimen below focuses on ways to minimise sulphuric buildup, which leads to bad breath. So read on, and learn how to prevent bad breath – for good.
use tHe rIGHt ProDucts 1. tootHBrusH; rePlaceD quarterlY: Obviously, you need to use a toothbrush, but it’s on you to replace that thing every three months (around this time your toothbrush starts looking more like a toilet brush).
2. floss: You have to get the gunk out from between your teeth. Not only will it prevent cavities and yellowing, but it leaves fewer food particles in the mouth that can rot up your breath, particularly while you sleep. 3. tonGue scraPer: It’s not as harsh as it sounds. A tongue scraper is a simple device that pulls additional sulphur from the “shag carpet” that is your tongue. After brushing, you can leave some of the toothpaste residue on your tongue and pull this device forward over the top to remove any excess sulphur. 4. tootHPaste anD moutHwasH: You want to target the sulphur production, which can be combatted with a zinc-rich toothpaste and a mouthwash that helps clean every part of the
staY HYDrateD Here’s one more benefit to drinking lots of water: it prevents bad breath. That’s because a dry mouth is the perfect environment for the rotting sulphur waste to start overtaking your tongue. Gross. This explains the phenomenon of “morning breath”. Your saliva production decreases when you sleep. Since saliva assists in breaking down your food particles, there’s less “breaking down” and more “decomposing” happening up there. It can be solved by drinking a glass of water before bed. If you’re annoyed that this will only wake you up in the middle of the night to go pee, well, then you need to re-read the benefits of staying hydrated. As an added bonus, once you’re awake, you can get another gulp of water to rehydrate your mouth, and you’ll almost certainly wake up the next morning without the rancid breath you’re used to. Alter Your DIet A few simple tweaks can significantly improve your breath. Obviously, garlic and onions are their own monster. You can brush and gargle away those sins, though. You should avoid anything that dehydrates the body (like caffeine and alcohol), since it will lead to overnight halitosis. The foods that produce more sulphur in the mouth are those high in protein, sugar and acidity, so if you want to lessen the odds of a sulphur-lined mouth, adjust accordingly. Though it’s probably easier to just scale back on the booze and coffee, and follow the right oral-care regimen.
i d i d n ’ T r e A l i s e i T wA s A dAT e u n T i l m i dwAy T h ro u g h c o f f e e . Kate and I had known
each other in university, but I hadn’t seen her in a few years when we ran into each other. We exchanged numbers and agreed to meet up, but I figured she was just being friendly. Wedged into a booth, our conversation flowed easily. When the coffee shop closed Kate suggested we get a drink. ‘I’m actually not drinking right now,’ I told her. First Kate looked confused, then disappointed. While I’m not sober, in the past few years I’ve considerably cut back on alcohol. Partially at the advice of medical professionals. Partially because sometimes when I drink too much I engage in self-destructive behaviour. Explaining this can be difficult, particularly in a romantic context. Briefly Kate and I considered alternate locations to a bar, but when I awkwardly suggested a second coffee shop she remembered a work thing that needed urgent attending to. We didn’t see each other again. ‘As the trend towards overall wellness continues and people abstain from alcohol for health and personal reasons, it’s possible that you’ll see more sober dating in the future,’ said relationship expert Simone Paget. But traversing the dating world without alcohol comes with its own set of challenges. The learning curve on sober dating can feel steep, especially if you’ve previously used booze to power through the initial shyness of talking with strangers. That’s why I’ve put together suggestions for dating while sober or dating someone who is.
… date someone Who’s soBer Dating culture and bar culture can feel practically synonymous, but they don’t have to be
make sure You’re reaDY to Date In recovery programmes, you’re not supposed to make major decisions within the first year. Sobriety takes focus. Anything that pulls away from that focus – moving, changing jobs, beginning a new relationship – should be handled with caution. ‘I think that if you’re newly sober it would help to be mindful when dating. Especially early on,’ said comedian Krissy Howard. ‘I definitely tried to replace drugs with people, which just damaged the relationships. You can’t pick up a person like you would a bag of dope and just expect them to make you feel good all the time.’ tell Your Dates aBout Your soBrIetY as earlY as PossIBle A few weeks back, I told someone I wasn’t drinking, and in response, they asked if I hated fun. On other occasions when I’ve been dry, people have pushed me to join them, going as far as to order drinks for me, as though my personal choice was an affront to their good time. Letting people know about your sobriety early can ward off mismatches upfront. That can save everyone involved a lot of time. ‘If anyone spends time with me they usually know about my sobriety in the first couple of minutes,’ said actor Bryce Hodgson. ‘Sometimes when I ask someone to get coffee, I have to explain that it’s a date,’ said Hodgson. ‘If [my sobriety] was a problem for anyone then we weren’t right for each other anyways.” Being rejected for any reason is difficult, but being rejected because of choices about alcohol has a particular sting. At first it made me feel like a burden, like I had been excluded from a part of society everyone else seems to really enjoy, and it’s taken some heart-to-hearts and serious introspection to reframe my thoughts. ‘I couldn’t date a person that drank like I did,’ said musician Drew Thomson. ‘I didn’t like myself back then, I can’t imagine liking someone else that way.’ Don’t aGree to Bar Dates If You aren’t reaDY to Be In a Bar atmosPHere. These days, a bar is practically the default location for a date. Drinks may be the classic get-to-know-you venture, but with people dating more than ever there’s a need for outings that are more affordable both in terms of time and money. While mood lighting and a hard-to-pronounce wine list can certainly add an ambiance, figuring out whether or not you actually like someone comes down to conversation and chemistry. Suggesting an activity, taking a scenic walk or finally visiting your city’s modern art museum seems awkward at first, but these things lead to better dialogue than asking about someone’s work life. Putting some thought into the location also shows that the date matters to you. While we’ve been conditioned by years of cynical cartoons and angsty music to think that effort is the antithesis of cool, effort puts you miles above all the other people who simply suggested a meet-up at the local dive. It’s a way to differentiate yourself from the hoards of other people on swipe apps which can go a long way in making a connection.
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For the longest time, popular opinion had Hilfiger, Lauren and Klein as the first fathers of American fashion. But be in no doubt: the pantheon has a fourth. Michael Kors speaks about famous friends, billion-dollar buyouts (hello, Versace) and the â€™70s street-style redux Words by Teo van den Broeke Photography by Jason Schmidt
Much like apple pie à la Mode, resistance to gun control and Bill clinton’s saxophone, Michael kors is an aMerican institution. Kors, who launched
his eponymous line in 1981, has since transformed his namesake brand into a global powerhouse, with an annual turnover a smidge under R69 billion. What's more, Capri Holdings – the parent company formerly known as the Michael Kors Group which owns both Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo – recently acquired Milanese super brand Versace for a cool R31 billion. Not bad for a lad from a backwater town on New York’s Long Island.
what is it about the Michael Kors brand that has such universal appeal? And how did the man himself get where he is today? A good place to start might be with his autumn/winter ’19 men’s and women’s show. Mounted on a brisk February morning in the Ciprianiowned former National City Bank Building on New York’s Wall Street, Kors’ runway featured appearances from Bella and Gigi Hadid, his front row consisted of Kerry Washington, Kate Hudson, Catherine ZetaJones and Michael Douglas, while the closing performance was given by Barry Manilow, who sang a rollicking version of “Copacabana”. And that’s before you get to the clothes. A glittercoated, dollar-flickingly expensive tour de extravagance, it was an exercise in overstated glamour, which demonstrated not only Kors’ talent for putting on a spectacle, but also his peerless star-pulling power. And then there’s the man himself. Never seen with anything other than a perma tan, single-breasted black suit, black crewneck sweater and pair of black aviator sunglasses, Kors is the embodiment of clean-cut American taste. A lean, mean, blue jean-making machine with (potentially) more Manhattan real estate than Trump and more celebrity friends than you could shake Claudia Schiffer at – the best thing about Kors is that he actually lives up to the hyper-glamorous persona he projects. Unlike other designers who cower from the limelight they are so effective at manufacturing, Kors is bold, brash and utterly brilliant. A beacon of high-fashion optimism in an otherwise sour-faced sky, he is a designer who embodies the brand he has created so perfectly that it’s easy to understand why so many people want a piece of both him and it. When I meet Kors after his show, in what feels like a throne room in the vaults beneath the space, he’s positioned on a white stage at
one end, while a dozen or so staff members (plus his hirsutely handsome creative director husband, Lance LePere) sit at the other. The Kors brand – his name – is emblazoned on a temporary wall, in front of which the designer is perched on a bar stool, like an emperor penguin on an ice block. He’s wearing his trademark black, his smile is warm and he looks healthy: sleek and replete, a modern Sun King with a killer tan. It’s no secret that 60-year-old Kors is a multimillionaire, and it’s also no secret he’d probably rather be topping up said tan on a yacht in his favoured holiday spot, Capri, than hanging out in a basement with me. But he’s pleasant and polite – if a little light on eye contact. When we start to talk, his words fire out like glossy bullets, tipped with a nasal twang that’s more upwardly inflected Californian than the down and dirty vowels of his New York hometown. It’s a voice that brings to mind the Kors of my youth, the Kors of Project Runway, the Kors who would drop brilliantly acerbic one liners – ‘He looks like a reggae Jesus’ and ‘Tin Man, Hershey Kiss, ballerina, garbage, newspaper, dirty vacuum bag… these are fabulous fashion references’ – the Kors who made me feel excited to meet him. Born in 1959 in the sleepy hamlet of Merrick, Long Island, Kors was a cheerful, precocious child who famously, age five, advised his mother on the wedding dress she should wear for her second marriage, to businessman Bill Kors. Despite demonstrating an early interest in architecture, Kors, or Karl Anderson Jr as he was then known (he changed his name after his mother’s nuptials), joined New York’s Fashion Institute Of Technology in 1977, before dropping out to work as the in-house designer at hip midtown clothing boutique Lothar’s, where he would pass the time between clients ‘watching all the ballet dancers leaving Carnegie Hall.’ Following the launch of the Michael Kors line (of little more than a rail of leather jackets and a few crêpe-de-chine dresses) in NYC department store Bergdorf Goodman in 1981, Kors showed his first runway collection in the autumn 1984 season of New York Fashion Week. Despite his early successes, the ’90s were tough on Kors. The move toward grunge didn’t align with the designer’s high-shine »
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‘i’m a strange thing in fashion – i come with joy, optimism and something spirited’
store was glass,’ he says. ‘We were helping his wife and the next thing I knew the entire sidewalk was full of people screaming, “Ali! Ali!” We had to lock the doors. He had no security with him, nothing.’
aesthetic and he filed for bankruptcy protection in 1993 when production stalled on his lower-price licence collection, Kors Michael Kors. A lifeline came in 1997 when LVMH bought a third of his company and Kors himself landed the role of womenswear designer and later creative director at Celine (also LVMH-owned). Though Kors was widely credited with turning around the fortunes of the label, he left in 2004 to focus on his own brand (that and 10 seasons of Project Runway, of course), which, in 2011, was floated on the New York Stock Exchange – a move that raised R11 billion and left Kors with a minority share in the international empire he built from scratch, an empire that today counts an impressive celebrity fan base, including Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and ZetaJones in the female camp, and Jenson Button, Hugh Jackman and John Boyega in the male. That’s another thing to note about Kors. He loves celebrity. The designer famously spent a lot of time at Studio 54 in the ’70s and when I ask about that period of his life he is effusive. ‘I mean, we dressed for the door on Studio 54. It was just, “What are you going to wear that’s going to knock everyone out?” You’d be on the dance floor and Truman Capote would be there and he’d be dancing with [Diana] Vreeland and you’re like, “Is this surreal or what? I’m 18. Is this really happening?”’ He laughs. ‘We had Jackie Kennedy Onassis come in [to Lothar’s] to buy jeans once. She was lovely. Very softly spoken. I was 18 years old. My hands were shaking. I didn’t want her to go into a changing room, so I took her into an office instead. I knocked on the door to see if she needed anything. She couldn’t get her boots off. They were stuck. So I had to pull them off.’ And, before I can get a word in, ‘We had Muhammad Ali and his wife come into the shop and the front of the
autumn/winter ’19 collection was clearly inspired by his ’70s heyday, but were there any specific references to be aware of? ‘We were moving apartments and I came across my high school yearbook, which I’d not seen in 30 years,’ Kors tells me at a pace. ‘It made me think of when I came to New York in the late ’70s. Although New York was dangerous back then – it was dirty; it wasn’t a fabulous moment – there was an energy and optimism in the way people dressed. There was real individual style: it might have been the beginning of street style. People were doing their own thing and [street photographer] Bill Cunningham would stand on 57th Street and everyone just dressed for him, hoping they’d catch his eye. For autumn/ winter ’19 I thought about that mix you see in big cities and I really wanted to make it this melting pot, an urban collection where a girl in a disco dress passes a guy at a dance rehearsal. She’s coming home and he’s off to work.’ A bass-heavy riff of shaggy shearling bomber jackets finished with high-shine leather shells, ’70s-wash hipster jeans, openneck silk shirts in sepia hues and voluminous corduroy trench coats in brink-of-burnt caramel, the collection felt as grown-up as it did urban. Perhaps most importantly, however, it was laced with that Korsian thread of wearability. Kors, after all, has built a brand on making beautiful clothes with a democratic appeal. ‘If you’re buying a designer piece, it has to have it all,’ he says, when I ask whether he cultivates that approachable quality intentionally. ‘It has to have fashion quality, longevity and newness all at once. It’s not throwaway. You want to hold on to it and at the same time you don’t want it to be so boring that it doesn’t spice up your wardrobe. The Michael Kors man travels. He wants to be able to wear the same coat with jeans and a suit. He wants things that can cross seasons.’ »
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In addition to the glittering halo of celebrity he is so adept at creating, it is Kors’ acute ability to understand how real men and women want to dress that has helped him define his space so clearly on the global fashion landscape. In the same vein as his stateside peers Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein – all of whom are equally talented at combining ease of wear with creative edge (though, importantly, not so much edge that it scares away the more conservative American customer) – Kors has mastered his own brand of approachable luxury. Where Lauren has made a living selling his version of the American Dream, Hilfiger has his prepped-up brand of sports-inspired tailoring and Klein is the king of minimalism, Kors has his very own comfortable brand of glamour. Visit his label’s website and you’ll find yourself swimming in a sea of easy-wearing ‘cazhmur’ [sic] sweaters, slim-fitting jeans and R5 500 high-top trainers. These are not clothes designed to challenge their wearer. They are beautifully manufactured, simply designed and made for men like you and me. Oh, and celebrities, of course. ‘When you’re driving a car and you put it on cruise control it’s so boring you could die. It’s like, “Oh, God. You’re not experiencing anything,”’ he analogises, when I ask about this sense of consistency. ‘On the other hand, if you floor the car and are afraid you’ll come off the road, that’s not good either. So, with my brand, I always say to myself, “OK, you just have to turn the wheel.” I like an evolution. I want things to change. But when you see something by Michael Kors you should know that it’s Michael Kors,’ he says, thoughtfully. ‘I think that I’m this strange thing in fashion, which is chic and glamorous and luxury. But I also come with optimism, joy and something that’s spirited,’ he muses. ‘Fashion people sometimes think that to be chic or stylish you have to be sad and dour. And I don’t feel that way at all. The most stylish people I know have humour and joy. Hopefully I’m able to bring that combination of things to people, because I believe that’s the best you can hope for in life.’ Kors met LePere in 1990, when the former hired the latter as an intern in his Paris office. They married in 2011 and the pair now live together in a sprawling Greenwich Village penthouse. In this Trumpian era of political
‘some fashion people think to be chic, you have be sad and dour. i don’t feel that way at all’
additional photography Courtesy of MiChael Kors, arMando grillo/iMaXtree.CoM, daniele oberrauCh/iMaXtree.CoM
upheaval and social disquiet, does Kors recognise his responsibility as an out gay man in a position of influence? ‘I never in my life ever considered hiding who I was. My family was fully supportive of any lifestyle I was going to live and I think my generation was the first to think that way. I think also that there is a responsibility as an adult who’s lived an out life [and] is successful, is a business person, has a stable relationship and a marriage… You know you’re going to be looked up to,’ he says. ‘I always talk to these kids. Sometimes when I was doing Project Runway I would have parents stop me and say, “My son wants to be a designer and because of you he’s feeling more confident.”’
of confidence, I’m intrigued to hear Kors’ thoughts on his group’s recent acquisition of Versace. How does he feel about the only other person on the planet potentially more glamorous than him entering the Capri Holdings fray? ‘I’m thrilled that the house of Versace will be part of our global fashion luxury group,’ says Kors. ‘It’s wonderful to have another brand in our group that also values design, style and craftsmanship, and I look forward to having Versace as part of our family,’ he continues. ‘I have been a great admirer of Donatella Versace’s spirit for many years. She is smart, talented and a visionary – all things I greatly admire.’ When I speak to John D Idol, the CEO of Capri Holdings, about his eventual plans for the group, he is equally effusive. ‘With the acquisition of Versace, we have now created one of the leading global fashion luxury groups in the world,’ he told me after my interview with Kors. ‘Our goals were to expand the global group to include three iconic, founderled brands defined by luxury fashion products with a reputation for world-class design and innovation. For the next 24 months, we’re going to focus on the development of Versace because we’ve made that very large acquisition. We’re still focused on the development of Jimmy Choo. And, of course, Michael Kors is going to continue to be our most important brand in terms of revenues and earnings, so we
need to stay very focused on that.’ And does he plan to expand even further? Idol has a New York-based brand, a London-based brand and a Milan-based brand under his belt (is there an MK logo or a Medusa head adorning it, I wonder?) – is he in the market for something Parisian? ‘If something very interesting or unique or special was to come along, I think we would certainly consider it. But that’s not our priority right now.’ Back in the throne room my audience with Kors is nearly at an end, but I’m told that there’s time for one more question. Given that we’re on the subject of Parisian brands, I can’t resist asking Kors’ opinion on Hedi Slimane’s new take on Celine, the label he helmed for more than half a decade. Kors’ eventual successor at the brand, Phoebe Philo, was beloved by the fashion industry at large for her elegantly wearable work there and when Slimane joined as creative director in 2018, his first, super sexy collection caused quite a stir. Did Kors enjoy watching the drama unfold? ‘You know, I was there for six-and-a-half years. Now it seems like everyone’s tenure has shortened up,’ Kors says. ‘When I left, I felt like I was leaving the baby. And I hope that the baby’s healthy and able to stand, so I’m happy to see it evolve and grow and change.’ A pause. ‘Hedi’s done an amazing job.’ And with that, a quick handshake (Kors’ hands are incredibly soft – and tanned), a brief exchange about Brexit and Trump (which Kors, with Project Runway pithiness, paraphrases as ‘global madness. I should release a fragrance! “Global Madness!”’) and a swift-yet-smiley escort from the room, I find myself deposited on the chilly Wall Street pavement, sure that, despite the freezing temperatures, I’ve caught a sniff of a tan.
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wh a t d o e s s t y l e m e a n i n 2 0 1 9 ? s u i t s ? s t r e e t we a r ? i n o u r a n n u a l h u n t f o r s a â€™ s m o s t u n i q u e d r e s s e r s , we f o u n d t h a t , we l l , i t â€™ s a l i t t l e b i t o f e v e r y t h i n g : p e r s o n a l i t y, e x p r e s s i o n and freedom P 9 0 G Q B D
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Men 2019 Proud partners
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G19Q best dressed
k w e s ta Musician
GQ: How does being fearless play out in your music and your style? My style helps me express myself regardless of what people may think.
GQ: Whatâ€™s your style philosophy? Keep it simple but make sure you like it.
GQ: What do you think your style says about you? I think it helps with letting everybody know that itâ€™s OK to be yourself. To be proud of who you are and where you come from.
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GQ: If you had to describe yourself in 30 seconds, who are you? I’m an artist, I love performing. I’m an introverted extrovert I’m an existentialist. I hate to admit that I’m incredibly pessimistic, which fuels my anxiety, but I’m fun and I smell good! (Also, I hate describing myself.)
GQ: How does being fearless play into your style? The general misconception about style is that there’s a right and wrong way of doing it. I always dress for myself. I don’t seek approval, nor do I fear people’s disapproval.
GQ: How does your style intersect with your other creative endeavours?
k at sini vasa n TV PresenTer
Because I’m a creative, my style serves as the packaging of the product. I like to believe that, with me, what you see is what you get – which is why it’s important for me to always look great. >>
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G19Q best dressed
GQ: What’s your style philosophy? Don’t think about it too much.
GQ: How does your style intersect with your other creative endeavours? My style sometimes gives a lot of power to what I do, like when I’m in studio there’s a certain look and feel I like to have – wearing necklaces and dripping swag – then I know the type of song I’m going to make. Creatively, as rappers, there’s always a way that we dress and that way gives a lot of venom to how we write, perform and sing certain things in studio, stage or any moment, really.
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t shego “ wolf” kok e Musician, PresenTer
Ja k e Mich a el singer a r T i s T, s c u l P T o r
GQ: What’s your style philosophy? For me, good style is a balance between form and practicality. It’s all to do with how the clothes fit, good quality fabric and durability. I actually have a small cupboard. I have about five pairs of blue or black slim-fitting chinos, and 10 pairs of white and black shirts. The shoes and jackets
make the outfit interesting. Where things get more interesting is my Granadilla Swim collection. I’ve been collecting their trunks since they started. My favourite pair are the pink trunks with antelope skulls and aloes from their second season.
GQ: How do you think expressing yourself through style has an impact on your community? Dressing well installs virtues of care. The way you dress gives people an idea of who you are. >>
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G19Q best dressed
GQ: How does being fearless play into your style? I’m fearless in everything I do. My fashion sense comes from stepping outside any boxes prescribed to me and my environment.
GQ: How does your style inspire others? I’m the example that you can be from anywhere, as long as you stay true to who you are; your signature style will be regarded and appreciated by your community. I’m a guy who grew up in a rural area but I’m killing the fashion and entertainment game. I’m an example that it doesn’t matter where you come from, what’s important is where you’re going.
dJ t ir a
Musician, Producer, record label founder
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geM a Én tay lor
GQ: If you had to describe yourself in 30 seconds, who are you? I’m a young man of character. I take pride in who I am and what I do. All the positive traits I’ve acquired were taught to me by my mother, and I apply these to my personal and professional life in media and entrepreneurship.
GQ: How does being fearless play into your style? I don’t play by the rules. I don’t follow trends nor do I try to set them, I’m just authentically me – and by being individualistic.
GQ: How do you think expressing yourself through style has an impact on your community? Presentation matters. What I do remember growing up in Eldorado Park are people who I aspired to be like, just because of the image they portrayed through their personal style. They motivated me to look my best, be my best and work hard to reach my highest potential. >>
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GQ: What do you love about menswear – and how does that play into your day-to-day work? I have an intuition about where things are moving, where things are going, where our customers’ interest is moving. That comes from really training my eye for years in the category, where I think one becomes an expert.
GQ: How do you stay stylish everyday?
doni del sa l Head of ProducT and buyinG
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I don’t spend a ton of time thinking about it, that’s what the point of a uniform should be. It’s iterations. I’d rather spend time thinking about my work than what I look like that day.
GQ: Who is Deji Dada? Iâ€™m a photographer and strategist at I See A Different You and the executive editor at Our Friends (an African online magazine). Iâ€™ve always enjoyed finding out-of-the-box means to solve problems. I have two callings: to delve into how to truly comfort a third culture kid; and to find means to illuminate Africa, both figuratively and literally, with regard to the way I see it and believe in it.
GQ: How does your style intersect with your other creative endeavours? Throwing back to my early years, my mother gracefully blessed me with, at most, one pair of sneakers per year. She avidly instilled the importance of decent shoes. Since then, my love for footwear has grown exponentially. As such, my eagerness to keep up with the myriad of drops has not gone unnoticed, leading to brands sparking communication to collaborate through audience intersection. >>
de Ji da da PHoToGraPHer, ediTor, Media sTraTeGisT
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nic va n gr a a n Model
GQ: What’s your style philosophy? Wear what you like and what makes you feel lekker. Don’t worry about what other people think. You’re an individual.
GQ: How has your style evolved? GQ: How would you describe yourself? I’m a creative human being born in Cape Town. After graduating, I decided to veer away from graphic design and now model full time. I’m a footwear enthusiast and a die-hard Liverpool FC fan.
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With the fashion industry being part of the greater creative industry, it really opened up my eyes to many other creative disciplines. I began to take an interest in being behind the camera. Through all of this, my style has become more experimental and expressive.
GQ: Who is Daniel Sher? A South African, a husband, a friend, a son, a brother, a clothing manufacturer and designer with a past life in finance and accounting, an outdoors adventurer currently on a personal quest to discover my true purpose. A below average DJ.
C r e at i v e d i r e C t i o n a n d s t y l i n g b y r u s t y b e u k e s ; fa s h i o n e d i t o r M i r a l e i b o w i t z ; k w e s ta , k at, t s h e g o , J a k e , d J t i r a , g a M a É n , d o n i a n d d e J i p h oto g r a p h y b y pa u l s a M u e l s at l a M p o s t ; g r o o M i n g b y a l e x b ot h a at l a M p o s t ; n i C a n d da n i e l p h oto g r a p h y b y t e r i r o b b e r t s ; g r o o M i n g b y J u s t i n e a l e x a n d e r
GQ: What’s your style philosophy? To quote my friend Andile Mbete, ‘If you feel stupid wearing it, you probably look stupid.’
GQ: How do you think expressing yourself through style has an impact on your community? As long as my wife and her mom think I look respectable, then I’m not really bothered by what anyone else thinks.
da niel sher desiGner
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t h e t IIsmN oeW Discover this yearâ€™s top trends in watchmaking Words by Bill Prince, Charlie Burton, Teo van den Broeke Photographs by Luke Kirwan
old-school R u l e s… … maintained that when denuded of your traditional signs of wealth and ebullience – a well-cut suit, a seven-fold silk tie, whole-cut Berlutis in a shade of tobacco no one would dare inhale – the only way of showing the world your worth was to wear a large, preferably bling watch. Well, guess what? The world is looking elsewhere for its fun, which means the traditional “beach watch” – pressurised to 300m, fitted to a garish green rubber strap and potentially containing three or more complications no one needs while paddling in the tropics – is currently surplus to requirements.
Instead, for the ultimate evocation of upscale down timing this summer, invest in that perennial partner in time, the white-dialled watch. For starters, it earns its keep on an otherwise bare wrist, but better still, it departs from the current trend of dark and moody dials (green, navy, meteorite) in favour of something much more redolent of rambunctious days on the Riviera. »
sl Ate Go blanc or go home
Rolex Datejust 36, at JNPR R145 800 THIS PAGE (FROM LEFT)
Mondaine Essence, at S Keren R1 679; Tissot Heritage Petite Seconde, at Swatch Group R15 050; Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin, at RLG Africa POA; Audemars Piguet Code 11:59, R900 610 (est*); Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial Master Chronometer, at Swatch Group POA gq.co.za
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W h at m a k e s a d i v e Wat c h … … a dive watch? Simple: it must adhere to ISO 6425, an international standard that sets out minimum requirements for water and shock resistance. When it comes to military watches, however, no such clarity exists – and that’s a problem. It has led to all kinds of brands borrowing the design language of the field watch and marketing their timepiece as “military” without any guarantee that it’s fit for purpose. No wonder then that makers of true military-grade wristwear are setting themselves apart with bold articulations of their credentials. That might mean aligning themselves with an audacious feat. Take IWC, which supplied the RAF with the Mark 11 navigator’s
FROM LEFT Luminox Ice-Sar Arctic 1003, POA; IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire, at RLG Africa R96 800; Bremont Arrow, POA; Breitling Aviator 8 Automatic 41 Curtiss Warhawk, R61 800; Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical, at Swatch Group R9 000
wristwatch from 1949 to 1981. This summer, the company is sponsoring “Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight”, an expedition in which a restored Spitfire will take off from London and fly around the world. Younger dial names face a challenge because they don’t have the benefit of a long history. Bremont, which was established in 2002, has thus sought out a seal of approval. Its 2019 collection includes watches approved by Her Majesty’s armed forces. It is now the sole luxury watch producer allowed to legitimately use the insignia of all three services. »
Yourself Timepieces inspired by the armed forces have not always passed muster. Here, we salute a new class of cadets
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Get up to speed with the new tech espoused by automotive watches so c a l l e d… … ”automotive” watches can be divided between those that take stylistic cues from cars (“dashboard” dial layouts) and those that genuinely arise from a collaboration between watchmaker and automobile designer. Motorsport is the convening characteristic in many examples, visible in the punched leather straps and glitzy
chrono dials so beloved of F1 fans. But elsewhere, seriously innovative watches are appearing, highlighting the new mood for embracing high-tech materials by the likes of Hublot and Richard Mille.
FROM LEFT Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Unico Titanium, POA; TAG Heuer Autavia, at Picot & Moss POA; Montblanc Timewalker Manufacture Chronograph Limited Edition, R72 700; Junghans Meister Driver Chronoscope, POA 106 / october 2019
salmonh ue d… … dials were big news at both SIHH in Geneva and the Baselworld watch fair this year. From the softly smoked style of Montblanc’s Heritage Pulsograph – a doctor’s watch with a dial that brings to mind the tropical
pieces currently de rigueur with serious collections – to the elegantly understated Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin by Audemars Piguet (which looked good enough to eat on a blini), all the way through to Patek Philippe’s 5270P, which would look the business worn beneath the cuff of a charcoal cashmere suit; this year it’s all about matching your timepiece with your canapés (or indeed, your breakfast).
A l l p r i c e s A r e s u b j e c t t o e x c h A n g e r A t e . *AvA i l A b l e v i A i m p o r t o n ly
This year, salmon-hued watches are swimming upstream FROM ABOVE Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, POA; Montblanc Chronograph Heritage Automatic GMT, R41 700; Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin, POA
8 HABITS OF WELLGROOMED MEN Tips and tricks to keep you looking fresh and smelling good
W E G AT H E R E D T H E C O L L EC T I V E W I S D O M O F G Q ’ S T E A M TO C O M E U P W I T H E I G H T T EC H N I Q U E S – A L L O F W H I C H YO U CA N A D O P T I M M E D I AT E LY.
WHEN TRIMMING YOUR BEARD, TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE Unlike the hair on your head, the great thing about facial hair is that it’s all there in full view, and you’re able to manicure it yourself. Yet most guys just take a single trimming guard and go over their entire face with one setting, then clean up the perimeter with a naked guard. Use your trimmer’s various guard lengths to add weight and contrast to your mustache, goatee or sides. You’ve got your entire canvas in plain view – so get creative with it.
SWAP OUT YOUR RAZOR CARTRIDGE EVERY SIX SHAVES This is a core tenet of razor hygiene. It prevents the accumulation of dead skin, hair clippings and bacteria. It also ensures a sharp, close shave, free of dragging, razor burn and ingrown hairs. Between shaves, store your razor upright in a dry, ventilated space after rinsing it thoroughly.
AND GET A NEW TOOTHBRUSH EVERY THREE MONTHS Per medicinal hygiene standards, your toothbrush’s bristles are rendered mostly ineffective after three months of use. They’re whittled, bent and are just a few bucks to replace, so replace them. While you’re at it, keep those teeth white with regular dental cleanings or a reliable whitening programme like Zoom from Philips, which allows you to package a professional whitening session at select dentists with a free at-home maintenance kit for forever follow-ups. You can also order a full range of toothpastes and mouth rinses that keep your breath fresh and protect your now pearlier whites.
FIND YOURSELF A DERMO OR THE NEXT BEST THING We all want to look younger and healthier, but one hurdle to that is the actual doctor’s appointment. They might require expensive payments, hours of your day, and are hard to secure without booking a month in advance. If you want to make progress immediately, then try a spa or beauty clinic. Go for a skinceutical-leaning spa, like Laser Beautique (laserbeautique.co.za), or identify your unique needs with a skin mapping session from Dermalogica or Sorbet’s Skin365 programme.
USE THE BLOW DRYER’S COLD-AIR BUTTON You know that cold-blast button on the dryer – it’s your shortcut to longer-lasting, faster-setting style. Once you’ve used the tool to give yourself the added volume, hold or texture, you can finish with an all-over zap of cold air to set the hair product and go about your business. Be careful about blasting your hair with too much heat during the process – there’s such a thing as heat damage that no cool-air blast will correct.
i l l u s t r At i o n b y s i m o n A b r A n o W i c Z
SPF EVERYDAY. You’ve gotta incorporate age-defying strategies into every part of your skincare regimen. In the morning, apply moisturiser with SPF to bounce UV rays and pollution. Coat yourself with a tanning lotion before excessive sun exposure. Together, these prevent the skin from leathering, wrinkling and developing dark spots (while also preventing skin cancer). Stay hydrated and minimise sugar and alcohol intake, prioritising a full eight-hour sleep while wearing a night cream to accelerate the effects of cellular regeneration. If you’re getting serious about anti-aging, get yourself a retinol prescription from your dermatologist.
1 FROM LEFT: Philips Sonicare BreathRx Whitening Toothpaste, R199; Philips Sonicare Antibacterial Mouth Rinse, R270; Moroccanoil Hydrating Conditioner, R390; Dermalogica Primsa Protect, R1 099; Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, 30mL R850; Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Night Cream, R270
TO SMELL GOOD IN SUMMER, SPRAY MORE THAN JUST YOUR SKIN Perspiration is Public Enemy #1 against the strongest colognes. It makes using a summer scent seem futile, since it wears off as soon as you step outside into the hot, humid air. That’s why you should target more than just your pulse points with that fragrance in sweatier months. Spray the collar of your shirt, the ends of your long hair and the underside of your beard.
CONDITION MORE, SHAMPOO LESS Here’s how to have “good hair days” back to back to back: condition daily, and shampoo far less. While it’s a good way to flush away dirt, grime, excess sebum and hair product, the truth is that a thorough rinse will handle most of that. Plus it will do so without stripping the hair entirely of its natural oils – the stuff that keeps it healthy, hydrated and style-able. If an oily scalp is the issue, then you should actually shampoo less in order to train the scalp. It will in turn produce less oil over time. Start with an every-other-day wash, and move slowly to every third or fourth day. – ADAM HURLY october 2019 / 109
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110 / october 2019
L as t Word
N ko s i yat i k h u m a lo
R o by N - l e e P R e to R i u s
Sentimental item: Photos of family and friends Survival item: A consolidated audiobook of all of Donald Trump’s tweets. Even zombies would run away.
Sentimental item: Lucky 7 Survival item: Military submarine with a lifetime supply of wine and food.
lesley m at h ys Sentimental item: My collection of crystals Survival item: All the sexual predators! The zombies will feast away while I make my escape.
t u m i m o l e t sa N e Sentimental item: A fully-charged phone Survival item: Rusty Beukes – to use as a human shield.
ta N i a D u R a N D
Sentimental item: My family Survival item: Bottles of Sauvignon Blanc.
Sentimental item: My Siberian husky Survival item: Weapons, earphones and Daryl Dixon.
thobeka P h a N y e ko
Wa lt e R h ay Wa R D
Sentimental item: My daughter Survival item: Lady Gaga’s Grammy egg pod –we’ll stay in there until it’s all over.
Sentimental item: iPhone, obviously Survival item: Naomi Campbell and a telephone.
l i sa abDellah
Sentimental item: My track spikes, so I could still run on the moon Survival item: A zombie’s left toe – to fool other zombies into thinking I was one of them, so they’d leave me alone. Then I’d board a space ship to fly me to safety. On the moon. Where there are no zombies.
Sentimental item: My MacBook and all my music Survival item: Blade (the day walker), to use as my personal body guard, Pikachu and a lightsaber.
Sentimental item: My cat Survival item: A sword.
C oul d you s urvive a zo mbie a p o C a ly p s e ? p r o b a b ly n o t. b u t i t w o ul dn’ t h ur t t o be a l i t t l e p re pa re d. o ur t e a m g a v e s o m e t h o u g h t t o w h at we mi gh t paC k – b ot h f or s u r v i va l a n d f o r s a n i t y
How to survive a zombie apocalypse V i N é l u ca s
112 / OCTOBER 2019
TH E O PU L EN C E OF A N EXT RA O L D CO G NAC
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