April – Contributors - Issue 172 - Magazine | Monocle

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Ming Liu

Liu was born in New York but her childhood was spent moving throughout Asia. She spent time in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Taipei and Beijing before returning to the US to go to university. Now she lives with her husband and sons in London, which is a perfect base for hopping across to mainland Europe to indulge her passion for skiing. Her writing has appeared in publications such as The New York Times and Vogue, and for her first piece for Monocle, Liu spoke to CEO Benjamin Comar about how he is reviving the house of Piaget.

What is your hospitality must-have?
A hotel with a Japanese breakfast on the menu. Breakfast is not what Japanese cuisine is known for but as the most important meal of the day it speaks volumes for the hotels that offer it.

Zara Picken

Picken lives in Lincoln, UK, with her husband, two children and a Jack Russell terrier. She has been illustrating for 15 years and has recently developed her style in a new direction, blurring the lines between computer and paper-cut art. In her spare time, she collects mid-20th-century ephemera for her archive project, Modern Illustration. For this issue, she sketched for a story about extreme digital detoxes.

What is your hospitality must-have?
I always appreciate drinks-making facilities, ideally coffee. I’m not looking for anything particularly sophisticated, though a good coffee machine is always welcome – as is a biscuit or two.

Pierre-Emmanuel Testard

Paris-based Testard’s work is focused on fashion photography and portraiture. Immersing himself in the world of the Parisian music scene, he has quickly developed a sensitivity for portraiture, using colour as a powerful component of the image. He has worked with clients such as Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Lacoste, Nike and Vogue, and has now applied his considerable talents to our Fashion Top 25.

What is your hospitality must-have?
When I stay somewhere, I really enjoy when I feel no barriers between the inside and the outside. I appreciate visual authenticity and simplicity.

Mateusz Mazzini

Born in Wroclaw, Poland, into a bilingual, Polish-Italian family, Warsaw-based journalist Mazzini considers himself a European first. “I am a product of all the best things that the EU has had to offer, including freedom of movement, university exchanges and a freedom to choose places to live in without too much paperwork,” he says. We asked him to tell us why the Polish capital is a great place to call home. “I was amazed by the results of my own calculations on public transport tickets, which are shockingly cheaper than the rest of Europe. Yet another reason to move here.”

What is your hospitality must-have?
I always appreciate a good breakfast that is healthy and that will keep me going through the day. It’s even better if the place where I am staying has morning newspapers – then I’m in heaven.

Rudi Geyser

Geyser hails from Cape Town so he was well placed to capture the beauty of the landscape that surrounds it and the people who dwell there. “I’ve visited these areas before so I was familiar with the types of treasures one could find but the places I got to visit and the people I got to meet for this roadtrip were something special,” he says.

What is your hospitality must-have?
For me it has to be the people. It’s so special when you manage to strike a personal connection. It generally happens when both parties are passionate about why they’re there, whether it be food or a stay. It’s the people on this particular trip that made it so memorable for me.

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