Editor’s Letter | January/February 2011

So, you rightly ask, what does this issue’s cover, WHAT’S OUT THERE NOW, actually mean? Good question. Wish I knew…

Just kidding. As we break free from the first decade of the 21st century, it seemed a good time to look at exactly where we’re going next, in terms of so many things. Let’s take fashion, for example, which kicks off this month with a story on Umberto Angeloni, whom this magazine has followed very closely since his days as CEO and mastermind behind Brioni and his mystique as the world’s most luxurious men’s _____. Umberto happens to be one of the most interesting, forward-thinking forces in men’s fashion, and one who doesn’t suffer fools, fashionistas or silly trends easily. In this issue, Italian fashion writer Donatella Sartorio covers the latest chapter in Angeloni’s post-Brioni life: Uman, a men’s fashion brand that he hopes will revolutionize the way men think about and buy clothes.

Chris Dickey, the brilliant Newsweek editor, reporter and Paris bureau chief and a frequent contributor to these pages (most recently with a piece on Normandy in the France issue), went to Nicaragua for Departures. It was a country he covered during its dangerous, revolutionary days in the 1980s, and he returned last spring. This time around, he encountered perhaps the safest country in all of Central America, one edging its way toward thoughtful and inventive ecotourism that combines old and new.

In a tour de force of reporting and writing, newcomer (to these pages) Howie Kahn spins out “World’s Best Langoustines,” a culinary thriller involving a star chef from Vegas, a small, mysterious island in the middle of nowhere, and perhaps the sweetest, most delicious crustaceans known to man. You have to read it to believe that this is what the world of gastronomy has come to!

And that’s just for starters. The entire issue attempts to introduce new forms of doing business and experiencing the world, and along the way (via our special section on Personal Best, A to Z) not forgetting about your own well-being and what’s happening out there—from plastic surgery and spas to exercise equipment and cosmetic creativity—to make you look and feel a whole lot better.

As we begin the New Year, the one destination that constantly captures headlines—and the traveler’s interest, it would appear—is Asia, specifically new and modern Asia. Five years ago, Departures devoted an entire issue to China. We were the first publication to look at its emergence as a true force in luxury travel. Today China commands the world in so many ways, but it’s joined by Seoul, Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo and other stars of “A New Asia,” the subject of next October’s special issue. As a sneak peek of things to come, “Asia’s Coolest Design Hotels” captures the nouvelle world of hotel architecture in the Far East. Sophy Roberts, who reports on how hotels have literally gone up, up and away, tells of the emergence of what I like to call Glamour-tecture, a confluence of serious design, building and mind-blowing glamour that perfectly captures what’s…out there.