What makes someone great? It is something I thought about often when we had to make calls on whom to feature in this, our inaugural The Greats issue. Ethics, legacy, purpose: these all come into it. But it takes more than that to be great. It’s also about spectacular acts of defiance and never, ever taking no for an answer.
The Greats issue of the flagship American edition of T Magazine is one of the most anticipated releases of the year, and we hope the same will be true for T Australia. The interviews and shoots in these pages are the product of many robust discussions (and even more robust hustling). The results, I’m sure you’ll agree, are thrilling.
Leading the charge is Lance “Buddy” Franklin (page 66), one of the country’s most enigmatic and compelling sports people. I’ll admit that I squealed with delight when our exclusive interview was confirmed, following about 18 months of consistent pestering. Our writer Luke Benedictus managed to break through Buddy’s signature humility and discern a man whose goals extend far beyond the 1,047 we’ve seen him kick in the AFL. As Luke discovered, Buddy can be guarded when the subject turns to Indigenous issues, but his actions speak volumes (a recent collaboration with Zenith, for example, fetched $30,000 at auction, with all proceeds used to purchase learning materials for children in Alice Springs).
Another great talent selected for this issue is the singer-songwriter Billie Eilish (page 82), who at 20 is one of the most influential forces in pop. T Australia’s new digital content director, Victoria Pearson, who spoke to Billie for the article, admits to being captivated by the pop star, who was wary of criticism yet determined to pursue her lifelong fascination with fragrance.
The main photoshoot (page 72) features the inimitable Nyadak “Duckie” Thot. The daughter of South Sudanese refugees, Duckie grew up in Melbourne and has become a fixture of the international runways, her career propelled by Kanye West. Posing poolside at the new Oxford House hotel in Paddington, Sydney, she showcases this season’s twist on the goddess look — think silk, leather and lashings of silver and gold.
This is the last issue for 2022. What a year of highs and lows it has been — memorable, for sure, but also filled with Covid-19 chaos and devastating events around the globe. One thing I am very grateful for is the support T Australia receives every day: from our readers who engage with the magazine so passionately; our partners and brands who believe in our vision; the flagship team at The New York Times; our retailers, distributors and the PR community; and, of course, the staff, photographers, writers, stylists, agents, creatives and digital teams who make magic happen every single issue.
We’ll return in February 2023 with six print issues, a suite of exciting events, awards, perks for our VIP subscribers and, most importantly, plenty of great reads. Cheers to the year that was.