True story: when it was announced internally that our annual A-Listers campaign was kicking off in March this year, the August Man team collectively scratched our heads for the second year in a row. The dilemma: finding 24 men who embodied “style, substance and success,” a tagline that should be ingrained in our readers’ minds by now. The women in the team – and we boast a fair number – were especially flummoxed: “Have you been to a bar recently? Do you know how many weirdos there are out there?” (It speaks quite a bit about our dismal dating experiences.)
Fast forward a few months to today and the team couldn’t be more pleasantly surprised and prouder of ourselves to have found, yet again, 24 cosmopolitan, well-spoken and successful men. In fact, many had to be sacrificed (metaphorically) due to the lack of space. Yes ladies, there is a God.
After spending hours talking to these 24 gentlemen, here are some off-the-cuff observations of this year’s batch of A-Listers:
There’s a nice mix of nationalities: Singaporean, American, British, Australian, French and Indian. That said, it would be near-sighted to pigeonhole them by their origin as many of them have lived and worked abroad for several years with a few coming from cross-cultural backgrounds. The most well-travelled? Mike Driver, who said he has visited 55 countries and counting.
Who ever said Singaporean men can’t dress? The Singaporeans in this year’s A-Listers proved to be able to carry off a Hugo Boss suit or an edgy DSquared2 outfit with aplomb. Just take a look at singer-songwriter Kiat Goh in a DSquared2 panel-check blazer. Not an easy look to pull off.
Several run their own businesses or work independently. Specifically, Allen Tan, a freelance photographer; Benjamin Hampe, an art gallery owner; Justin Quek, a restauranteur; Keat Ong, founder of an interior design firm and Mark Enriquez who owns his own chiropractor clinic. The average age of these men? A mere 30-years-old. Impressive.
The Singaporean men proved to be mummy’s boys at heart – almost all of them said they’d request their mum’s cooking for their last meal. Aww. One of the exceptions was Roy Chewwho chose his wife’s cooking instead. Guess we know which side his bread is buttered on.
The youngest A-Lister is Sameer Goyal, whom at 23 carries himself with a dignity that surpasses his age. The oldest is Pern Choo. He’s 37, but doesn’t look a day over 30. What’s your secret, Pern? Did I mention that he was a contestant on the international reality TV show, Temptation Island?
A fair number of the men like Sam Patkar and Jonathan Giesecke are married and happily so, enthusiastically mentioning their other halves during the interviews. So hands off, ladies.
There are no shortage of adrenaline junkies in this group. Darren Huang is an avid wakeboarder and bungee jumping addict and Joel Thong owns a few motorbikes including a Ducati. In other words, every mother’s nightmare. Fortunately, we had some snazzy Citroën cars at our photo shoot to keep these boys happy.
The tallest A-Lister is James Palin who towers over all at a neck-straining 1.93m. Kristian Hunt comes very close at 1.92m. If you ever meet them, ask them what they were fed as children. Some drops of whiskey in their baby formula, I’m guessing. (Please don’t do this to your kids.)
They may bear boyish faces, but Steven Yuen and Joel Wong boast some fierce tattoos. Where are they located? Read their profiles to find out… or don’t, if you’re afraid to.
Short of making them sit for a Mensa test, it’s hard to say who’s the brainiest of the bunch, but we have a neuroscience researcher and he is Mike Hogan. How awesome is that!
When it came to naming a woman that they found appealing, there were some surprising answers. Nabil Mustafiz said Princess Diana, because he has “a soft spot for people who try to change the world.” Arnaud Gauthey cheekily mentioned Michelle Obama for her power by association. The most common response? Jessica Alba. No prizes there.
Bernard Hosanna was very ill on the day of the photo shoot and almost didn’t make it to Hotel Fort Canning where it took place, but you couldn’t tell with that smile on his face. A real trooper.
The men gave some interesting insights into how they perceived their roles in modern society. Terry Law said that he would be happy to be the breadwinner of the family. Vincent Teo, admitted that women are giving men a run for their money in the workplace. All great answers.