Embracing change with open arms, these four individuals took on the challenge of the pandemic head-on. Dressed here in celebratory jewels from Bvlgari, they’ve emerged stronger, more focused and raring to go.

Yvon Bock, Founder and CEO of Hegen

Brave New World: Yvon Bock
White gold, emerald and diamond pendant necklace; white gold and diamond Viper bracelet; pink gold and diamond Viper bracelet; white gold and diamond ring; pink gold, onyx and diamond Viper ring; pink gold and diamond Viper ring; pink gold and diamond Viper bracelet; white gold, diamond and emerald cuff. Vest; trousers, Fendi.

As head of an accoladed baby care brand, Yvon Bock, a mother of four, admits that her family rarely saw her before the pandemic hit. Her monthly schedule was packed with work travel, but that all changed last year.

“Twenty‐twenty was an extreme thrill ride: I went up and down, I had to swerve left, right and duck… but it was a very precious year for me as well. I’ve never had so much time to stay home with my four children and to reconnect with family and people who matter.”

The rare opportunity to take a breather  and refocus herself also led to the realisation that life is to be lived and appreciated in the present tense. “There’s so much goodness that we take for granted. I learned to pause and enjoy; to harvest along the way instead of waiting to do it later.” But that’s not to say Bock has any plans to slow down.

“It’s time to restart the engine,” she says. “So my hope for 2021 is to resume, stay focus, embrace change as the norm, with the belief that as long as we continue working on our dreams, we will get there.” With roll-out plans for this year including the launch of patent-pending products, a podcast channel and antenatal webinars, we dare say she will.

Victoria Cheng, Presenter and Producer

Brave New World: Victoria Cheng
Viper bracelets in pink gold with diamonds; pink gold with onyx; white gold with diamonds; pink gold with diamonds. Dress, Bottega Veneta.

A published writer, digital strategist, certified nutritionist and boxing instructor, among other things, Victoria Cheng is a woman who believes in keeping busy and knowing what she’s going to be doing every minute of the day—which would have made the uncertainties of 2020 extremely frustrating and stressful. But along with the anxieties came personal insights that changed her perspective on life.

“A big moment was realising how busy I was with things that don’t really matter,” she confesses. “I learned how to really prioritise things and it also made me appreciate what I have and how complete my life actually is.” As for 2021, she plans to pick up where she left off before Covid-19, armed with the lessons learned from the experience.

“Twenty-twenty was supposed to be the year I embarked on a lot of my

own personal projects. That was put on hold. But now that I’ve had a whole year to really sit down and think about it with no other distractions, I hope to really get all those projects off the floor and going.”

J Jaikishan, Actor, Host and Social Media Personality

Brave New World: J Jaikishan
Pink gold, rubellite and diamond necklace; pink gold and diamond Viper pendant necklace; pink gold, rubellite and diamond pendant necklace. Blazer, Versace

“How was 2020 for me? It was like that film Train to Busan,” says J Jaikishan with the comic delivery that he’s known for on popular YouTube channel Wah!Banana. With a “joy and laughter to everyone” attitude, delivered with a high-energy, no-one-spared kind of humour, it’s understandable why lockdown hit him hard.

“It was honestly very tough for me. Life is all about meeting people, and working and moving and just finding things to do. I’m a person who’s afraid of his own thoughts, but I found time to listen to what I needed and now I think I’ve come out stronger. It’s really a new version of myself.” 

The humour is equally balanced with a pragmatic side. “This is me levelling with you right now. I don’t know what I’m going to do for 2021. I have a master plan and I know where I’ll be in five years. But that has not started yet because of Covid-19. Let’s live life slowly, calmly and in an orderly fashion for now. But my aspirations for 2021 is to clear everything, start with a clean slate, and let’s just focus on getting back on our feet, man.”

Look out for him as one of the host of Chingay 2021: Light of Hope, which will be airing live on Saturday, 20 February 2021 on Mediacorp Channel 5 and 8 from 8pm to 9pm. And in the upcoming TV drama mini-series The Cutting Edge, which will premiere on meWATCH and Mediacorp’s Channel 5 soon.

Elizabeth Liau, Founder of Maison de L’Asie

Pink gold, mother-of-pearl and diamond earrings; pink gold, mother-of-pearl and diamond necklace; (left hand) pink gold, mother-of-pearl and diamond bracelet; pink gold, mother-of pearl and diamond ring; white gold and diamond ring; (right hand) white gold and diamond Viper bracelet. Blazer; Bottega Veneta. Bra; trousers, Liau’s own.

Others may have bemoaned the stasis that came with last year’s lockdown, but Elizabeth Liau, Head of Business Development at a national art institution, relished the opportunity it accorded her to focus on realising a dream: The founding of Maison de L’Asie, a luxury perfume brand with global ambitions that presents revered French olfactory techniques with a distinct Asian slant.

“Twenty‐twenty was a year of change for many people, obviously. But I also saw it as a year of reflection. I decided to make a lot of changes that I could control,” she says. “I think we owe it to ourselves to find expressions and things that we think are beautiful, and chase them down until they become a part of who we are. 

And for me, I also learned that to self- discover, we really have to self- destruct; to let go of the things we know and to conquer the fear of doing so.” Having embraced the new direction her life has taken, this year will see her doubling down on cementing her dreams and getting “the brand name out there”.

“It’s all about taking 10 steps forward for the company. I would really love to see a global luxury perfume house rise from Singapore; for people to look at Singapore and Asia with new eyes and a new interpretation through my perfumes.”

All jewellery worn throughout the shoot are from Bvlgari’s Serpenti collection.

Fashion Director: Jeffrey Yan
Photographer: Gan
Makeup: Lai Wee Ming
Hair: Edward Chong/Evolve Salon
Photographer’s assistant: Samsidi Bin Baderi
Stylist’s assistant: Nadia Lim

Brought to you by Bvlgari