Starting a car collection? 8 classic cars that you should not miss!

If you’re looking to start a collection of automobiles and are on the look out for a worthy collectible to add to your collection, you better be ready to fork out some real dough as the most desirable and highly coveted of collectible cars command an insurmountably high price at auction. From a US$48.4 million Ferrari to the the most expensive pre-war car of the century. Here are eight classic cars to add to your collection. 

1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis number 4153 GT

Classic cars to add to your collection gafencu auction most expensive 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis number 4153 GT (1)

Kicking off a list of most desired classic car to add to a collection with the most expensive car in the world the 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis number 4153 GT. It is one of only 39 examples of the 250 GTO that were built between the year 1962 and 1964. Extremely rare, the vehicle was purchased by American collector David MacNeil for a tear-jerking US$70 million in a private sale in 2018. Besides the present vehicle, the record holder for most expensive car to sell at auction goes to another Ferrari grand tourer, the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO by Scaglietti, chassis number 3413, which fetched US$48.4 million at RM Sotheby’s 2018 Monetery Car Sale for a jaw-dropping US$48.4 million. 

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R, chassis no. 196 010 00006/54 

Classic cars to add to your collection gafencu 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R, chassis no. 196 010 00006_54 

Nicknamed the Silver Arrow for its bullet-like silhouette and speedy acceleration that won against the likes of Maserati and Ferrari in 1954 Grand Prix, making German history when it brought home the country’s first win since 1939. It is famed for its ultra-lightweight frame that weighed only a mere 46kg. It is one only 16 produced, of which only 10 still exists today, but the present model is the only one remaining in private hands. Despite the dents and blemishes from two seasons of intense racing, the model still fetched a significant sum at Bonhams’ The Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale Collector’s Motor Cars and Automobilia in 2013 where it went under the hammer for US$29.6 million.

1956 Aston Martin DBR1 

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Before its Bond fame, British independent marque Aston Martin was known for both beauty and speed on the track. A case in point is the rare 1956 Aston Martin DBR1, winning nine out of 18 wins throughout its career. It is the most successful race car in Aston Martin history, boasting racing legends like Sir Stirling Moss, Reg Parnell, Roy Salvador and Caroll Shelby among its drivers. Adding to its fame and exclusivity, it is one of only five built with the British compan’y badge fitted on it; which may explain the significant price tag of the model when it was sold at auction at RM Sotheby’s for US$22.5 million in 2017  but not before a seven-minute bidding war ensued.

Also Read: Writing Millions: Five most expensive pens in the world 

1935 Duesenberg SSJ 

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The 1935 Duesenberg SSJ is an American automotive legend produced by the brotherly duo behind the Duesenberg automobiles. Although the manufacturer was only in production between 1913 to 1937, the marque had earned multiple accolades during its time. Part of their impressive range of vehicles was the 1935 SSJ which featured a short-wheeled base and a stronger engine. Only two of these models were produced and delivered to American movie stars Clark Gabel and Gary Cooper, the latter being the present model in question. It wasn’t until 2018 when it found its way to the auction block at Gooding & Company’s 2018 Monterey Car Week did it make modern day history as the most expensive American car ever sold at a total of US$22 million. 

1955 Jaguar D-Type

Classic cars to add to your collection gafencu 1955 Jaguar D-Type

At the birth British luxury manufacturer Jaguar’s 1955 D-Type, there was only one goal in the marque’s mind: Winning the Le Mans 24-Hour tour. It is undeniably one of the most notable racing cars ever made, competing between 1954 and 1959, the 1955 Jaguar D-Type boasts innovation and speed that led to its 1955, 1956, and 1956 wins. The model was kept in pristine condition which might justify its large price tag of US$21.7 million – selling at RM Sotheby’s in 2016. 

1995 McLaren F1 

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British automative manufacturer of luxury, high-performance sportscars and supercars McLaren changed history when it rolled out the world’s first carbon fibre road car, a Formula 1 vehicle – the McLaren MP4 / 1, in 1981. The brand has since been billed for its beautifully sleek, streamlined aesthetics and exhilaratingly quick acceleration, that continues to make headlines. Most recently, in August 2021, a rarely driven 1995 McLaren F1 – coined to be the ultimate road car to beat all supercars – was sold for a mindblowing sum of US$20.5 million at a Gooding & Company auction, making this model the most expensive F1 of all time; and the most expensive vehicle to have sold at auction in 2021. It is one of only 106 models made, and features some very unique design highlights such as a single row of three seats with the driver situated in the middle; and a gold plat3ed heat shield installed within the engine compartment. 

Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic

Classic cars to add to your collection gafencu Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic

French automobile manufacturer Bugatti was known to conquer the road in acceleration, speed and magnificently beautiful and sleek designs. The marque is famed for its many incredible collectible classics that often stir the crowd in excitement whenever one is presented at auction. The Type 57 in particular, which where produced for only seven years – totaling only 710 models, is so highly coveted that a 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic set the world record for most expensive car in the world when it fetched more than US$30 million at a Gooding & Company auction in 2010. The model is so sought after desired that it is said that a collector could spend years searching for their desired year, trim and variant. 

1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider

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An epitome of Italian luxury, the 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by the Italian luxury car manufacturer Alfa Romeo is the Italian equivalent of a Bugatti Atlantic. Specifically the present vehicle, coined Immortal 2.9, is one of only seven of its kind that boasts a magnificently restored state after its parts were scattered during WWII. Amazingly, it was restored back to its complete original state by UK 2.9 expert Tony Merrick. In 2016, it was the first Immortal 2.9 offered at public auction. It realised a sum of US$19.8 million at RM Sotehby’s Monetery 2016 Classic Car Sale, making it the most-expensive pre-war car until it was superseded by the 1935 Duesenberg SSJ Le Grande Rodster in 2018 (US$22 million).

Also Read: Legendary Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger unveiled as new 007 film debuts

Selling the High Fashion Dream: Mike Ruan of S.T Boutique

Fashion entrepreneur Mike Ruan brings coveted brand names to a young, clued-in clientele at S.T Boutique. He chats with Gafencu about his upcoming China expansion, fast cars, cool watches and investing in karaoke…

Mike Ruan of S.T Boutique channels his passion for high fashion into a thriving resale business gafencu inteview (3)

What does fashion mean to you?
Honestly, if you ask any other person in the industry, they’d probably need a thousand, or even ten thousand words to describe this. For me, though, it’s simple – the process of an artist starting from scratch with just a piece of paper, and then, by sketching and creating fashion designs, capturing the public’s imagination and earning money. I know that’s quite a mercenary way of looking at it, but that’s my personal point of view. Of course, fashion is also about talent and understanding people’s needs, because without this you can’t be successful.

Did you always know you wanted to work in fashion or did you have other aspirations?
Actually, when I was a child in Wenzhou [in Zhejiang Province], I saw so many movies with cool cops that I really wanted to become a police officer. I remember every weekend I’d be begging my parents to take me to the toy shop so I could buy police badges, guns and the like to play at being a cop at home.

Of course, my dreams changed as I grew older. In 2008, I decided to enrol in high school in the UK, not just because of the high calibre of the education there, but also because I wanted to see and learn more about the world than my home town. I made the move to London all by myself, and my boarding school – DLD College London – was just a stone’s throw from Selfridges department store, so I quickly became introduced to the Western fashion. The first major brand that I fell in love with was Dior Homme. I was particularly enamoured with the personal style and vision of then-creative director Hedi Slimane – someone I still massively respect and believe stands at the pinnacle of the fashion business.

Keen to expand my horizons, I’d visit department stores every week to learn more about different styles and also to add to my personal wardrobe collection. Over time, I got to know other big brands like Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton, and I ended up falling in love with them too, which is what clued me in on my long-term passion for fashion.

Mike Ruan of S.T Boutique channels his passion for high fashion into a thriving resale business gafencu inteview (2)

Tell us about the path to starting your own business, S.T Boutique.
Since I’d realised exactly how much fashion meant to me, after six years of studying in London, I chose to continue my education in the beautiful Italian city of Florence. I did a Business of Fashion degree there, and to cut a long story short, once I graduated I decided to move to Hong Kong, where in 2017 I fulfilled my dream of starting my own fashion business – S.T Boutique. It’s a trendy, high-end fashion resale enterprise, and I have two stores in Hong Kong and another huge flagship store in my hometown Wenzhou.

What sets S.T Boutique apart from the rest of your competitors?
I think the major difference between our retail operation and others is that we are extremely sensitive and attentive to market shifts. We often buy clothes that attract a much younger crowd, and this, in turn, allows us to generate sales and turnover extremely quickly.

In the old days, the majority of haute couture and high-fashion purchasers were in their 40s. Today, that’s shifted down to people in their 20s, and being flexible and adaptive to the needs of this new segment is a major focus for S.T Boutique. This means that my team and I spend hours doing research on the latest collections, viewing catwalks from various brands on YouTube, looking for reactions on other digital platforms… Basically we do everything we can to make sure we have our finger on the pulse of the latest trends, so we not only stock the most coveted items for this season, but will also have the same sought-after cache for the following seasons.

Mike Ruan of S.T Boutique channels his passion for high fashion into a thriving resale business gafencu inteview (5)

Also Read: Timothy Yu’s Snapask reaches eight markets in Asia, aiding 4.5m students!

How has Covid-19 affected your business?
Honestly, like everyone else in the world, the pandemic has clearly had a negative impact on S.T Boutique. Our business relied on wealthy tourists, particularly from the mainland, and the global shutdown of travel has meant that we’re down 60-percent from where we were pre-Covid. Having said that, I always remind my team that it is during the times of greatest challenge that we need to put in that extra level of effort and enthusiasm. We need to believe that the blood, sweat and tears we invest now will yield big rewards once the pandemic passes.

Do you have plans to expand S.T Boutique this year?
We’re excited to launch two more locations in mainland China in the near future. The first store will be in Beijing – as the capital city that’s a no-brainer for our next outpost. The other will open in Chengdu, since I’ve always felt it’s such a vibrant place; in fact it’s one of my favourite cities in the world. The people there are so trendy and you can see the pleasure youngsters take in their trendy apparel on every street corner. It really is the fashion capital of western China, so S.T Boutique will fit right in.

Aside from S.T Boutique, do you have any other projects in the works?
Yes! A friend and I have just invested in a karaoke spot called Qian Gui along London’s Wardour Street [famous for its music scene], pretty much opposite the W Hotel. During my time as a student in the city, I loved to go to KTV with my pals, and I enjoy singing, so it felt like a natural investment for me.

Mike Ruan of S.T Boutique channels his passion for high fashion into a thriving resale business gafencu inteview (6)

How do you like to relax? Any hobbies?
I love playing ping pong or going for a round of golf to relax after work, and I’m always up for an occasional karaoke session as well. Since I love music, I also aim to hit the Lan Kwai Fong hotspots with my friends twice a month.

I’m an avid watch collector, too. I’m a major fan of Richard Mille since being introduced to the brand in 2017, and my favourite model is the all-white RM 055, because I love the colour white. I also love fast cars, and having lived in Italy for three years, I have a particular fondness for Lamborghinis. I own two, and my most treasured motor is the Lamborghini Urus, which I know is an unusual choice, but I much prefer SUVs to sports cars.

Which fashion brand has really kept up with the times over the last 10 years?
I would say Louis Vuitton. For many years, it was seen as being a super classic, formal brand. Yet, over the past decade, it has completely transformed into a maison with a much more global appeal. Part of the reason, I think, is that it made the brave decision to completely overhaul its business model to appeal to a much younger crowd, and that strategy yielded great rewards.

Mike Ruan of S.T Boutique channels his passion for high fashion into a thriving resale business gafencu inteview (4)

And what’s your favourite fashion trend of the past decade?
That would 100-percent be the pivot to less formal attire and streetwear. I absolutely loathe wearing suits and such, so this new embracing of streetwear as an expression of high fashion is, for me, the best trend to emerge in recent years.

Finally, tell us a secret about yourself.
Hmm… if it’s called a secret, I don’t think I should reveal it!

Thank you.

Also Read: Power Player: Stephan Pudwill on taking over the reigns of his family business

Interview by: Tenzing Thondup; Photographer: Jack Law; Art Direction & Styling: Jhoshwa Ledesma; Videographer: Andy Wan; Venue: S.T Boutique

Wrist Candy: Five dazzling high jewellery watches to add to your collection

Although the world of haute horology is, today, a male-dominated sphere, the industry actually owes the rise of wristwatches to demand from the fairer sex. During the late 19th century, when pocket watches were still the norm, it was women who had began adorning their wrists with fashionable gem-studded timepieces. Today, high jewellery watches blend the best of haute horology and high jewellery traditions in utterly stunning expressions that make for captivating timepieces that ensure all eyes are firmly on you…

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Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Purple Arums 
The line between art and watchmaking is often blurred when it comes to high jewellery watches, and renowned Swiss horologist Jaeger-LeCoultre plays with this amalgam exceptionally well with its latest Reverso, Purple Arums. Taking inspiration from decorative jewellery worn in the ’20s, the 40mm self-winding wristwatch, powered by the watchmaker’s patented Calibre 846 movement, introduces a truly unique Reverso iteration replete with the model’s iconic double-sided rectangular case. Its vivid floral design seamlessly flows across the rotatable case front, exhibiting a high level of  craftsmanship that required a painstaking 95-hour process of gem-setting, enamelling and engraving to create.

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Vacheron Constantin Égérie
Staying with manual-winding chronographs, Vacheron Constantin celebrates the multiple facets of femininity through its new Égérie self-winding diamond-pavé models. Presented at the Watches & Wonders 2021, the ultra chic and elegantly versatile 35mm jewellery watch is truly worth of being added to the collection of any discerning fashionista. Featuring the maison’s signature off-centre display and asymmetrical geometry (artfully interlace two circles), a total of 574 round-cut diamonds punctuate the dial as well as the watch’s bezel, flanks and lugs, imparting an added sparkle to proceedings. 

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Piaget Limelight Gala Precious Sunrise
The next entry on our list of stunning high jewellery watches comes courtesy of Swiss luxury watch and jewellery maker Piaget. The Limelight Gala Precious Sunrise is an automatic movement that features an eye-catching 32mm 18K white gold case and a bezel set with 32 brilliant-cut blue sapphires and 10 brilliant-cut diamonds, all of which were carefully sifted through to create the seamlessly flowing gradient that outlines the snowy, diamond embellished dial mixed with different-sized gemstones — a true beauty for the modern-day woman. 

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Franck Muller Double Mystery Peony
Next up, a marriage between haute horology and haute couture comes through a combination of technical innovation and the art of watchmaking – the intricately detailed Double Mystery Peony from Swiss horology brand Frank Muller. The 42mm mechanical complication, powered by a 42 DM PEONY D 2R CD movement, boasts a gorgeous gem-studded dial replete with 662 brilliant-cut diamonds and precious stones, all of which were painstakingly hand-set. Further accentuating its avant-garde aesthetics are the hour and minute indicators, which are placed on rotating discs at its centre. 

gafencu magazine luxury lifestyle Five show-stopping high jewellery watches to add to your collection cartier libre

Cartier Libre Baignoire Turtle
Rounding out our list of high jewellery watches is luxury maison Cartier’s limited-edition Libre Baignoire Turtle watch. Taking inspiration from its 2019 Baignoire predecessor, just 30 pieces of this masterclass in jewellery watchmaking will be produced. Playful, sophisticated and all-but-guaranteed to ensnare any passing gaze, its geometric motif is punctuated with anthracite, buff-topped sapphires and pavé diamonds that together call to mind the scaling of a turtle’s shell. 

Auction Highlights: The most desirable and highest commanding collectible items to go under the hammer

Featuring some of the most desirable and highest commanding collectibles that realised outstanding (and record-breaking) sums, at auction recently, from a stunning diamond bracelet, a historic Rolex Daytona, a beautifully illustrated medieval prayer book, and Kanye West’s record-breaking sneakers, these are the top bids that recently hit headlines…

gafencu Auction Highlights The most desirable and highest commanding collectible items to go under the hammer book of hours Master_of_the_paris_bartholomeus_anglicus_paris

An illustrated prayer book scores top bid
The Book of Hour is a medieval Christian prayer book organised by the time of day and comprised of beautifully illuminated texts, sumptuous page decorations, and portrait panels that reflected the wealth and discernment of well-to-do men and women. Recently a Parisian Book of Hours on vellum circa the 1440s went under the hammer for an outstanding US$3.6 million at Christie’s. Illustrated by the Master of the Paris Bartholomeus Anglicus, the tome remains complete and in pristine condition and is said to be the most richly illuminated work of its enigmatic creator.

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A historical Rolex Daytona races into the money
The first iteration of the highly desirable Rolex Cosmograph Daytona can be traced back to 1963. Designed with the racing driver in mind, the chronograph become one of Rolex’s most-loved and hard-to-find models. This year, a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 16516, found its way to Sotheby’s Important Watch sale, where it realised more than HK$24 million. Sporting a one-of-a-kind lacquered ‘Stella’ dial in turquoise, the 40mm timepiece remains in working condition with only minor blemishes and visible surface wear. According to the auction house, it is one of five models made that year nicknamed ‘Zenith’ for their Zenith calibre 4030 movements. 

gafencu Auction Highlights The most desirable and highest commanding collectible items to go under the hammer cartier Diamond and Rock Crystal Bangle-Bracelet

A magnificent jewel snapped up at showpiece sale
Hong Kong remains the precious heart of Asia when it comes to valuable diamonds and gems. The region’s insatiable appetite for large, high-quality stones proved to be unabated when a show-stopping Diamond and Rock Crystal Bangle sold for an astounding HK$46.9 million at auction on 21 April. A hot ticket item in Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale, this rare and phenomenal 63.66-carat pear-shaped internally flawless white diamond bracelet was rightly acclaimed as an architectural masterpiece by its creator, French luxury jeweller Cartier.

gafencu Auction Highlights The most desirable and highest commanding collectible items to go under the hammer kanye west nike air yeezy 1 prototype

Kanye West’s record breaking sneakers
Recently, Kanye West’s 2008 ‘Grammy worn’ Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototype sneakers went under the hammer at a private sale at Sotheby’s. The 13-year-old sports shoes fetched US$1.8 million, the highest publicly recorded price for a pair of sneakers, tripling the auction house’s record for being the most valuable sneakers ever sold. Nike Air Yeezy was the first collaboration by a major footwear label with a non-athlete. It was, at the time, Nike’s top-secret project that became “one of the most brilliant reveals in sneaker history and a pillar in the advent of modern sneaker culture”, according to Sotheby’s. 


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Million Dollar Sneakers: Insanity or investment opportunity?

A Sotheby’s private auction held just over a month ago set a new record – that of the most expensive sneakers ever sold. The collectible in question was a pair of Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes worn by rapper Kanye West in 2008 at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards, and fetched a staggering US$1.8 million. Outrageous? It may seem so to outsiders, but in fact, it is just the latest milestone for the burgeoning phenomenon that has come to be known as ‘sneaker culture’.

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Sneaker culture thrives on the same mass collecting mentality that can be found for other collectibles like watches and wine, although in this case, it’s applied to the purchase and ownership of cool sports shoes. Be it stellar marketing, social media popularity or the influence of hip hop culture, there is now an entire sub-section of the fashion industry where coveted kicks reign supreme.

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In truth, sneakers are nothing new. They first appeared back in the early 19th century, though unlike modern-day iterations, these were quite roughly crafted from canvas, featured rubber soles, and were mostly marketed as beachwear. It took nearly six decades for this flimsy footwear to become more refined and eventually capture the mass market’s interest.

As for etymology, unsurprisingly, they got their name simply because they were nearly inaudible underfoot, allowing wearers to quite literally ‘sneak’ up on you. The interesting fact is that sneakers emerged in early ’20s Germany, where an intrepid entrepreneur by the name Adi Dassler invented the first real sports shoe. It was clearly a success, and his company evolved into Adidas, one of the most recognisable athletic wear brands. However, it was in 1984 that sneakers became a status symbol. This was the year Nike collaborated with basketball superstar Michael Jordan and changed the world of sneakers forever.

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In the intervening decades since that Damascene moment, the sneaker industry has grown beyond imagination, currently grossing an eye-watering US$60 billion each year, with that value predicted to grow to some US$95 billion within the next four years. What’s more, hundreds of millions are also spent by sports brands in continuing efforts to tempt buyers with ever-more exciting designs.

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Heightening their popularity even further are the numerous multi-million-dollar collaboration deals that have sprung up between major brands like Adidas and Nike and celebrities such as Kanye West and LeBron James, binding fans from the worlds of sport, music and fashion.

The name of the game, in short, is to add to the prestige of what’s available, even, or maybe especially, when applied to a utilitarian accessory. Everyone can have a pair of Adidas shoes. Buying Yeezys, though, is akin to hitting gold. Also, with the entry of countless luxury design houses – Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Versace, to name but three – into the industry, sneakers have become even more of an aspirational accessory, enticing the wealthy elite to buy into the craze.

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The recent record-breaking performance by the Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes is, perhaps, the greatest indicator of this. But it is by no means the only pair of sneakers to reach stratospheric prices. Sotheby’s inaugural 2019 sneaker-dedicated sale saw a pair of Nike Waffle Racing Flat Moon Shoes sell for US$437,500. A year later, a pair of autographed, game-worn Nike Air Jordan 1s sold for US$560,000, which held the Guinness World Record until it was superseded by Kanye’s kicks this April.

But while not all ‘sneaker heads’ – as aficionados of this sporty footwear have dubbed themselves – can afford one-off designs at such staggering prices, it hasn’t stopped the most dedicated from attempting to amass as many pairs as they can afford. Take, for instance, US musician DJ Khaled, who is rumoured to own 10,000 pairs and even managed to collaborate with Jordan Brand – created by Nike for legendary basketballer Michael Jordan – to put his own spin on the Air Jordan 3s.

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Another of the world’s biggest sneaker collections is actually in the hands of three 20-something sisters, Ariana, Dresden and Dakota Peters. Together, the trio own over 6,000 pairs of sneakers, including thousands of coveted designs such as Nike Air Force 1s and Air Jordans, as well as rare prototypes designed for celebrities and star athletes, and even a few whose existence have perplexed their maker, Nike. In total, the collection, which they inherited from their retired real-estate developer father, is said to be worth millions of US dollars.

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Sneakers continue to appeal to consumers across the wealth spectrum, but, as with the rest of the fashion industry, sustainability and environmental concerns have definitely made an impact on this niche sector. And, when you look at the facts, these worries are surely justified.

Sneaker production is exceptionally carbon-intensive, accounting for about 1.4 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions (as compared to air travel, which in pre-Covid times produced 2.5 percent of such emissions). If it were a country, it would be the world’s 17th largest polluter. Furthermore, each year, some 23 billion pairs of sneakers are produced – often under exploitative conditions – and simultaneously, 300 million pairs are tossed into the rubbish pile. Given that many sneakers are predominantly fabricated from plastics or plastic-like materials, the devastating truth is that it will take decades for them to fully decompose in a landfill.

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This is a major environmental issue, but there are ways to deal with it successfully, and one of them is switching to sustainable and ethical production as priorities when looking for stylish kicks. A good example of this is Adidas, who started making inroads into sustainable production in 2015 by utilising recycled ocean plastic in its products. It also launched Futurecraft Loop, a groundbreaking sneaker design that is made from 100 percent reusable thermoplastic polyurethane, a substance that can be repeatedly recycled after use. A growing list of brands has followed suit, focusing on creating footwear that is both ethically and sustainably produced.

Whether or not the entire industry can shift its mindset to a greener, more environmentally friendly production process is still up for debate, but it’s a problem that needs a real, long-term solution, especially given the continuing, unabated rise of sneaker culture across the world.

Paradise Regained: Jaquet Droz’s new watch creates a mini Garden of Eden

Known for its elaborate decorative watches, Jaquet Droz has once again stunned the world of horology with its latest model, The Tropical Bird Repeater watch.

Inspired by Gauguin’s Post-Impressionist paintings, the watch depicts, on its dial, an exotic landscape, a Garden of Eden-like terrain, with each detail of flora and fauna depicted painstakingly.

At the heart of this Garden of Eden, amidst a realistic waterfall, is a hummingbird hand-carved and hand-engraved with meticulous craftsmanship by the maison’s top artists. A one-of-a-kind animation in watch-making history, its wings beat up to forty times a second, making it a piece of moving art. All other details, including a peacock, whose plumes open and close, a toucan that emerges at 3 o’clock to open its beak, a flight of dragonflies, whose wings glow in the dark, are equally jaw-dropping.

The timepiece is, however, not just a great looker; it’s high on performance as well. With features like the minute repeater powered by Jaquet Droz RMA89 movement and a power reserve of 60 hours with an oscillating frequency of 3 Hz, the watch is a collectible on all counts.

Limited to just eight pieces, this is one paradise a true connoisseur can’t afford to lose!

Keep Walking: Johnnie Walker Blue Label pays tribute to Hong Kong’s spirit


You may have heard about the genie in a bottle, but have you heard about a city in a bottle? That’s exactly what Johnnie Walker Blue Label has sought to achieve with its Pioneering Cities edition, in which the premium blended whisky-maker has collaborated with local artists from the world’s most thriving cities to depict each city’s true essence through artwork on limited-edition Johnnie Walker Blue Label bottles.

For the Hong Kong edition of the Pioneering Cities collection, Johnnie Walker has partnered with Hong Kong-raised illustrator Victo Ngai, a Forbes Art & Style 30-under-30 honouree and a two-time gold medallist at New York Society of Illustrators.
Victo’s artwork on the Johnnie Walker Blue Label bottles depict vibrant snippets of Hong Kong culture, including a Cantonese opera performer who takes centre-stage with her opulent blue costume, patterned with suggestions from the city’s iconic skyline, colonial architecture and neon lights.

To further underline the Chinese influence, an Oriental-themed tassel hangs decoratively from the bottle’s golden cap, making the bottles a prized possession for any art lover.



Each bottle also has its own unique serial number starting with Hong Kong’s area code ‘852’, followed by a four-digit number.
Talking about the special tribute to Hong Kong, Johnnie Walker Blue Label brand ambassador, Martin Newell, says, “As a progressive city with a never-say-die attitude, Hong Kong deeply resonates the ‘Keep Walking’ spirit of Johnnie Walker.” He further urges whisky lovers to try the limited edition, not just for the artwork, but also for the unique whisky that is blended from one in a 1000 casks, chosen meticulously from all corners of Scotland.

Priced at HK$2300 per 70cl bottle, the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Pioneering Cities Limited Edition is now available at major retailers and specialised stores across Hong Kong.

Text: Suchetana Mukhopadhyay