Before getting to know Franz Botrè, I already knew his creation: the magazine Monsieur.
Tied to the world of luxury and mainly aimed at a male audience (even though women also enjoy reading it), Monsieur is a magazine that deals with curious, refined topics and is a pleasure to read both for the beauty of its images, as well as the levity with which the subjects are tackled. The magazine in fact is not only focussed on the description of luxury objects and events, but aboveall on the pleasure of “knowing how to savour the same”.
I encountered Franz Botrè at the gala evening of the Cathay Business Trader Award 2013 at the Milan Triennale, evening in which Botrè received recognition for his capacity to promote, without any public funding, the culture of beauty and the Italian lifestyle in Hong Kong, in only three months planning the launch of a new newspaper in Asia…a decidedly epic undertaking.
What is your personal definition of luxury?
If I come to your house for dinner with a bottle of Romanèe Conti [Bottle which for certain vintages can cost as much as € 12,0000, Ed.] I would surely impress you with a wine universally recognized as guarantee of high quality. But the real luxury is bringing you a wine, perhaps from your area of origin [Gorizia, Ed.], produced by a small and unknown winegrowing firm, but that by the simple tasting of which one perceives the quality of the grapes, of the processing they have undergone, the care for the bottling. Recognising the quality of a product, apart from its brand, is the real luxury, which implies knowledge, experience but aboveall passion.
What indeed is luxury for the glittering and opulent Hong Kong of today?
In Hong Kong there are a lot of people able to dine with several bottles of Romanèe Conti, but today the tycoons of Hong Kong wish to understand why a product is high quality, the history of the same, and are fascinated by Italian style, openly acknowledging the innate elegance of the same.