Ministering Angel: Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre & Hong Kong Ballet champion Anne Wang Liu does all she can from the heart

“Super Speed!” proclaims Anne Wang Liu when asked which superhuman ability she would choose. A self-proclaimed multitasker, she has mastered the art of operating at speed as she juggles motherhood and her life passions one day at a time.

Despite her glamorous appearance – arriving in a monochromatic light-brown and skin-tone semi-formal ensemble, high block-heeled pumps in the same colour tone, jewellery from her own accessory line and gleaming black locks in relaxed big curls – more than anything she seems a diligent, efficient mum making sure everything is under control. We meet on a highly changeable summer’s day – beautifully clear at first, then gloomy and raining – a weather pattern that locals proudly claim is unique to Hong Kong. Yet for Wang Liu, it’s all about perspectives.

“Ah, the weather! One of the few things in life we people cannot control, right?” she says, as she smiles brightly and poses for the camera despite raindrops splattering her yellow garden dress. “That’s the thing, whatever circumstance we are put into, it’s about making things work and overcoming it.”

Raised on the outskirts of New York City, young Anne completed an economics degree at Cornell University, then embarked on a career in finance. She has contributed her planning abilities to a number of causes since she and her husband, Julian Liu – whom she met at college – moved to Hong Kong two decades ago, including Hong Kong Ballet and Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre, which marks its 10th anniversary here.

Caring Spirit

Eugenie off-the-shoulder cutout linen-blend midi
dress by Aje, courtesy of Net-A-Porter

Wang Liu is a familiar face of the city’s social scene and one of the most well-loved Hong Kong socialites. Apart from being blessed with impeccable style, her vibrant personality makes her easy to like. Joining the Board of Governors of Maggie’s nine years ago reflected her selflessness and determination to give back to the community.

“When I first became involved with Maggie’s, I had friends and family who were fighting cancer and I felt that Hong Kong lacked the facilities that were needed to support patients,” she says. “Yes, we have the doctors, but social support is very important in fighting the disease. Maggie’s has a multidisciplinary team, including oncology specialists, social workers, clinical psychologists and registered dietitians to provide free, practical, emotional and psychosocial support to people touched by cancer.”

By peeling off the layers to unveil her rawness, Wang Liu moves beyond the superficiality of being judged by how she might dress for events or appear on the social pages of magazines. She goes deeper by nurturing the inside – a mindset that reveals her beautiful soul.

Fayre of Heart

The first Maggie’s opened in Edinburgh in 1996 as a new type of care centre that would make the experience of cancer more manageable for everyone. It was conceived by the late Maggie Keswick Jencks – who had spent her early years in Hong Kong – following the return of her breast cancer. The Hong Kong centre was built in the grounds of Tuen Mun Hospital in 2013 with the support of the Keswick Foundation.

As she explains, it does not have government funding and depends solely on grants and donations to continue its work: “We have an upcoming event in December, the Fayre of St John’s, with all proceeds from individuals and businesses going to cancer patients and their families. I am involved very much as the fundraising committee co-chair to raise public awareness and funds for the event.

“Ultimately, the aim is to ensure that Maggie’s has the resources it needs to provide high-quality care and support to people affected by cancer. The fundraiser brings families together for a night of song and gives a face to those suffering from cancer,” she adds.

Strength All-Around

Gloria cape-effect embellished silk-chiffon and crepe gown by Safiyaa, courtesy of Net-A-Porter

As we shoot the third look, the production team is fanning an ethereal goddess-like green gown with long trails on the shoulder to give an angelic wing effect for the photos. Humming the chorus of Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings in between makeup touch-ups, our equally angelic model reiterates the fact that a strong support system plays a crucial part in life.

“My parents taught me the need for a parent to always support their children’s emotional well-being and to create an environment where my children feel safe and confident,” she says.

“My parents provided me with the opportunity to engage in many different activities. I led an active childhood, participating in sports, dance, music, student government and community service. They allowed me to pursue my personal and intellectual curiosity. Moreover, they taught me the importance of close familial ties and having a supportive group of friends.”

Acing Motherhood

It’s a philosophy she applied while raising her two daughters, Madeline and Audrey. Despite her busy schedule, she finds time to be the cool mum she wants her kids to have. Just days before the shoot, she scored much-coveted Taylor Swift Eras Tour concert tickets for the three of them.

“It was crazy! Super” she shares excitedly, the way one would with teenage peers. “I made sure we got the chance to watch Taylor Swift because both of my girls are huge fans. And now, I am too.”

When asked how old her daughters are now, she laughs quickly and says: “Next question.” Still chuckling, she proudly continues to tell her story about motherhood and how she managed to raise them just the way she wanted it to be.

“I am focused on teaching them what’s right and wrong, and luckily, they’ve turned out to be quite self-motivated. So, I don’t need to guide them as much anymore. Things are now reversed and they are guiding me,” she says.

Ballet Benefits

Lyon button gown by Rebecca Vallance, courtesy of Net-A-Porter

Exemplifying her belief in giving back to the community and helping the next generation, as co-chair of the Hong Kong Ballet Guild, she devotes her time to making the artform accessible to youngsters from different backgrounds. The annual Nutcracker Christmas Benefit, a fundraising event she considers to be one of her most significant career accomplishments, holds a special place in her heart as both her daughters have performed numerous roles over the years.

“I have watched them grow up on the stage,” she says. “Self-expression in performing arts is paramount. It allows individuals to convey emotions, stories and perspectives uniquely. This creative outlet fosters personal growth, empathy and cultural understanding, enriching both the artist and the audience. It’s a vital means of connecting and communicating in a diverse world.”

As she journeys through life learning about what she loves and embracing every moment of it, she knows that it’s a continuous process.

“My mother and sister have been a constant source of inspiration and support. Both are professional working moms that have been able to balance careers while raising a family. My children have been a constant inspiration and remind me to stay curious, adventurous and young at heart.”

Ring by Cartier
Ring by Chow Tai Fook
Mercier belted plissélamé
midi dress by Costarellos, courtesy of Net-A-Porter

We finish the shoot and interview, typically a four-hour marathon, in just 90 minutes, and she moves seamlessly into discussions with Maggie’s staff to finalise their upcoming event. While she may not possess the superhuman power of super speed, she truly does a lot and always from the heart. Anne Wang Liu has a million obligations, personal and professional, and she gets an A+ for them all.

Interview & Art Direction: Joseff Musa Photographer: Jack Law Fashion Stylist: Jhoshwa Ledesma Videographer: Jack Fontanilla Hair & Make Up: Joenny Lau Venue: Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre Brands: Cartier, Chow Tai Fook, Rebecca Vallance, courtesy of Net-A-Porter, Aje, courtesy of Net-A-Porter, Safiyaa, courtesy of Net-A-Porter & Costarellos, courtesy of Net-A-Porter Cover: Suri one-shoulder paneled stretch crepe gown by Safiyaa, courtesy of Net-A-Porter

Life of Luxury: Hotel marketing maestro Joanne Tang’s Infinite Luxury Group takes high-end travel experiences above and beyond 

During her formative years in the Netherlands, Joanne Tang was admittedly shy and retiring, so it was surprising to friends and family when aged 16, she plumped for a course in hotel management that normally attracts bubbly, outgoing souls.

But now, looking back on more than 20 successful years in the luxury hotel industry from her vantage point as CEO of Infinite Luxury Group, the marketing and branding enterprise she founded in 2010, she knows her career choice was spot on.

Her family background did play its part, though. “My family owned restaurants in the Netherlands and Germany, so I grew up with the hospitality industry around me every day,” says Tang, speaking over lunch at the East Hong Kong hotel in Taikoo Shing, where she is staying during a business trip to the city. “Growing up in the Netherlands, I was exposed to both the outgoing, direct Dutch mentality and the humble, hardworking Hong Kong Chinese approach. This dual cultural background has shaped my personality and allowed me to understand and appreciate different cultures.”

Multiple Dutch

Jacket, shirt and pants by LANVIN

Amsterdam is famously cosmopolitan and diverse, a grounding that enabled Tang to be more receptive to differences in business and life in general. She also learnt multiple languages – Chinese, Dutch, English, French and German – another undoubted asset for her globe-trotting future.

At a hotel management school in the Netherlands, she developed her social skills and professional knowledge, igniting a passion to explore the world and pursue an international hotelier career. Graduating in 2000, she moved to Hong Kong and began working for major hotel chains, at first at the front desk, greeting new arrivals and thriving on interaction with guests from all around the globe. She then moved into sales and marketing.

Employed by the Shangri-La, Mandarin Oriental and then The Ritz-Carlton, she developed a deep passion for the luxury sector. “I gained invaluable experience in understanding the unique positioning and messaging of each hotel group and property,” she says reflectively, betraying every inch the persona of a confident, successful businessperson.

Crisis banishment

One of her biggest challenges was opening a new hotel for The Ritz-Carlton in Krabi, Thailand, during the 2007-2008 economic downturn, a project that spearheaded the group’s Reserve collection of high-end resorts in exotic locations. “We did that all the way during the financial crisis, and at the end the hotel opened very successfully as well,” she notes.

The crisis prompted hotels worldwide to diversify and explore new potential markets like Asia. It was a turning point too, for Tang, as this greater interest in Asian markets was vital for the success of her embryonic company. From the outset, Infinite Luxury Group gained and built upon a good reputation in the industry, and business blossomed by word of mouth. “We were fortunate to work with some amazing luxury hotels from the beginning and then it snowballed,” says Tang. In the 13 years since its inception, she has marketed more than 350 hotels and brands in Asia.

Limitless lifestyle

Magdalena open-back satin midi dress by Rebecca Vallance, courtesy of Net-A-Porter

Asked about the values of her company (, Tang responds by evoking a lifestyle choice: “The ethos of Infinite Luxury Group is to introduce luxury hotels and unique travel experiences to the Asian traveller. We believe in a lifestyle without boundaries, where discerning travellers can indulge in luxurious and unforgettable journeys.”

The success of her enterprise and her long list of clients reflect the expertise she offers. “One of the most rewarding experiences is seeing a hotel become successful, gaining recognition, and attracting bookings,” she says.

“Another success story is when a hotel partner decides to handle the marketing themselves for a while, but then realises the value of our expertise and returns to work with us again.”

Asian journey

In-depth knowledge of the Asian market and all its diversity has been integral to her company’s achievements. She believes it is a mistake to assume the same strategies employed elsewhere will automatically work for Asian markets.

“The Asian market is incredibly diverse, and it requires a deep understanding of each sub-market, its cultural nuances and consumer preferences,” she opines. “These considerations are even more important in the China market.”

Experiences of wealth Over the years, Tang has seen noticeable behavioural changes in high-net-worth (HNW) individuals, who are now seeking new and unique experiences having already indulged in what has become a run-of-the-mill luxury. The industry has had to focus on providing personalised experiences. Catering to the evolving needs and desires of the modern, discerning traveller does not necessarily mean greater extravagance, she insists. “It can involve bringing them closer to nature, such as wildlife safaris, remote camping in the desert, or tailored trips that delve into history and culture, like an immersive journey. Providing memorable and personalised experiences is key in meeting the expectations of these clients.”

Travel highs

Dress by LANVIN

She says establishing deep and long-lasting relationships with HNW clients can be challenging for luxury brands due to the high level of competition and the dynamic nature of these individuals for whom money is no object. She believes powerful brands are those creating extraordinary experiences by carefully crafting an atmosphere of exclusivity, unmatched service and personalised moments. “And then aiming to captivate the clientele and consistently surpass their expectations,” she adds.

Tang has noticed a definite period of postCovid ‘revenge tourism’, as if luxury travellers are trying to make up for lost time. She herself is not immune from this desire; her enviable jet-setting lifestyle sees her pack in an endless stream of exotic locations. One of her great pleasures is to rise before dawn to take in the beautiful sunrise in some far-flung destination.

The nature-lover also sees a focus on sustainability amongst luxury hotel brands of late, in some cases as a matter of self-interest. “Many hotels understand that if we do not do anything to promote sustainability part, it is not going anywhere positive,” she says.

Bridging cultures

Tang’s company is now based in Shanghai with several offices around Asia, and she is confident the luxury sector will continue to thrive in the future. It is her strong opinion that luxury travel can act as a bridge between cultures. “Luxury brands often have a global reach, and they can act as ambassadors of cultural exchange and appreciation,” she says. “Furthermore, luxury experiences and travel can expose individuals to different cultures, traditions and perspectives, promoting tolerance and appreciation for diversity.”

Interview by: Neil Dolby Photographer: Jack Law Art Direction: Joseff Musa Fashion Stylist: Jhoshwa Ledesma Videographer: Jack Fontanilla Hair & Make Up: Owen Ko Venue: EAST Hong Kong Brands: LANVIN and Rebecca Vallance, courtesy of Net-A-Porter

Run the World: Diana Chou, Chairman of Dragon General Aviation Group, packs her bag with lessons in empowerment and owning one’s choices

Prior to the day of our shoot and interview, Diana Chou was flying in and out of Hong Kong on business trips. She is, after all, the founder and Chairman of Dragon General Aviation Group and bespoke private jet charter broker L’VOYAGE. Now in the last season of a soaring aviation-centric career, she knows what she wants and ensures that her actions reflect who she really is. No less, no more. From the wardrobe and makeup to the interview questions, Chou is all about empowerment.

From the get-go, her strong will is apparent. “I want the interview to focus on my career as a woman in a man’s world,” she instructs us beforehand over the phone. “I want nothing too pretentious where the wardrobe and makeup would not be my style. I want to include my successor, Jolie [Howard, L’VOYAGE CEO], in at least one of the photos. Please.”

With that settled, Chou is the embodiment of professionalism and enthusiasm as our photo session proceeds as discussed. Dressed in a bright yellow power suit and flashing a firm, warm, sunny smile, she manages to shatter stereotypes of how women should present themselves. She is a potent example of how femininity and authority go hand in hand. Above all, women should not have to shed parts of their identity that they treasure in order to be taken seriously at all times – an ethos that she repeats throughout the day.

Revealing another facet of her character before sitting down for the interview, she shows us around her office and her own wardrobe of outfits collected on many varied travels. This is her softer, social-butterfly, fashion-loving side, which many might see as a conflict with her forceful, serious, top-flight business persona. Brushing this erroneous, man’s world-imposed contradiction aside, she champions freedom of choice, complexity and the right to be herself without question or scrutiny.

Independent Woman

Diana Chou was born into aviation royalty. Her brother, Silas Chou, instigated the alliance between Sino Private Aviation (founded by the family in 1998) and Canadian business jet manufacturer Bombardier that continues to this day. Her father, textile magnate K.P. Chao, co-founded Dragonair in 1985.

“The Chous are visionaries, we have mindsets of our own and like to take risks,” she declares. “When I was a child, I always looked at the sky and imagined I can fly and visit exotic places, meet people and savour different culinary delights. Well, I never dreamt that I could be in the jet-selling business. I guess, when we dare to dream, our dreams do manifest in our lives in one form or another.”

Growing up in Macau, young Diana had a wholesome, uncomplicated childhood. She attended an all-girls Catholic school where her competitive and studious traits flourished – characteristics that she has carried with her into the present. Significant growth came as part of life’s journey too. A jump from the cosmetics industry to the world of private jets is no usual career path. As radical a shift as beauty to aircraft might have been, she advises young professionals that the world is their oyster. No one else gets to decide their path and they can forge it in whatever direction they want.

“Before all of this, I was working for Clinique as a Brand Manager, but my brother asked me whether I would like to take up the challenge. I accepted it as it is a lot sexier to sell jets than lipsticks and the basic selling skills and marketing principles are the same. I never looked back.”

Business Class

She founded Aerochine Aviation in 1999, adding L’Voyage in 2013 and consultancy Jet8 Aviation five years later. Her groundbreaking role as the first woman to sell private jets in Asia has significantly impacted the rapid rise of the aviation sector over the past 20 years. She recalls that back then, the market was a blank canvas, the stakes were high and the potential was enormous.

“I told myself if I sell two jets, I will have doubled the market 100%, so I relentlessly started cold-calling all the potential clients on the Forbes list. There was very little information on private jets and the internet was just beginning to take shape,” she says. “Every manufacturer was watching me with curiosity like how this tiny dame with no aviation knowledge can sell a plane. I developed educational tools and came up with an elevated pitch – ‘no money in the world can buy or save you time, but a private jet can’.”

And so, she took advantage of those years when the Chinese economy began to take flight on its own and incubated a group of new billionaires. She also ventured into helicopter dealerships in China and opened the first wholly foreign-owned helicopter MRO (Maintenance, Repairs and Operations) business using the CEPA (Closer Economic Partnership Agreement) scheme for Hong Kong companies. It proved to be an inspired move and she sold the business to US aerospace manufacturer Bell Textron in early 2020 just before the pandemic struck.

Dream Big, Fly High

Even as she steps back from her high-flying career, Chou still has her sights on steering Dragon General Aviation to even greater heights. Her knowledge is vast, her intuition immense and her resilience astounding. She may be petite, but she displays incredible strength. Deserving of respect, her achievements have been duly recognised by her peers. She was named Woman Entrepreneur of the Year by the All-China Women’s Federation in 2010 and 2012, and the 2015 Businesswoman Leader of the Year by the Asian Business Aviation Association. She was also the EY Entrepreneural Winning Woman Asia Pacific Class of 2020.

She is a natural mentor to the next generation of women entrepreneurs. Stressing the important role mentors play in the business world, she notes how they can foster the growth and leadership qualities of talented aspiring individuals.

“Mentors can also help the mentee to get a fuller picture of their personal life, particularly with budding female entrepreneurs, because mentors have been there, done it and lived through similar family and work challenges,” she says. “We all know subconsciously what is best for us, however having a sounding board like a mentor validates our thoughts and actions. My motto to my mentee is ‘Dream big and fly high’.”

Quizzed about her greatest strength, Chou answers with characteristic directness: “My greatest strength is my positive view towards life and everything around me. I view failure and challenges as an opportunity to learn and grow. I don’t waste time lamenting the past because I know I can’t change the past, but I can determine my future.”

In a society where the choice of profession defines people’s life, Diana Chou truly is an inspirational woman. Her ability to ‘fly high’, in what was not so very long ago a man’s world, is a lesson in empowerment and owning one’s choices.

(Interview & Art Direction: Joseff Musa Photographer: Jack Law Videographer: Jack Fontanilla Hair & Makeup: Joenny Lau Venue: L’VOYAGE Office Jet: Gulfstream G100 – exclusive aircraft of L’VOYAGE)

Also Read: On the Wings of Luxury: Private jet-setting in elevated style is the hot ticket across a reopened world