Last night, friends and supporters of YUE Magazine descended the escalator at Trump Tower to fête the publication. With the classical strains of a live ensemble echoing throughout the atrium, guests toasted the official launch of the The Observer Media Group’s quarterly bilingual venture.
Chiu–Ti Jansen, the magazine’s co-publisher, played gracious hostess throughout the entire evening, welcoming guests (in both Chinese and English) and making introductions.
“A lot of people really appreciate that we’ve represented the new image of China,” Ms. Jansen told The Observer. “It’s not just about Chinese shopping, it’s much more sophisticated. We’ve created a forum that allows our advertisers to have a dialogue and understand the Chinese taste,” she said.
Business cards were aflutter, as erstwhile strangers discussed the influx of Chinese capital to New York and the strength of the yuan. Aside from advertisers, luxury brand executives and cross-continental businessmen, many of Ms. Jansen’s contemporaries and friends showed their support for the magazine as well. Jean Shafiroff, Liz Peek, Eleanora Kennedy, Lucia Hwong Gordon and Lady Liliana Cavendish congratulated their friend on her publishing success.
Several subjects of YUE’s early articles surfaced amongst the crowd, creating a sort of living tableau of the publication’s glossy pages. Philanthropist Dame Jillian Sackler, who appeared in the magazine’s first issue, discussed her longstanding interest in China. “I’ve been involved with China for many years—since 1980—and I go nearly every year. That’s a long time before most Americans or westerners were involved,” she said. Ms. Sackler and her late husband are responsible for Washington, D.C.’s Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian, a collection dedicated entirely to Asian art. Although she rarely sits for interviews, the timing for the YUE article was propitious, so she agreed to it. “I just thought that it was appropriate at this time particularly for the Sackler Wing’s 25th anniversary. So that was the impetus,” she said.
Hearing a commotion behind us, we turned around and saw a sea of outstretched iPhones pointed toward the step-and-repeat where Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner had just arrived.
Though the threesome’s appearance sparked a photo-snapping fever pitch, the already riotous crowd went into raptures when famed pianist (and onetime YUE coverboy) Lang Lang appeared. Groups of giggling friends and admirers rushed toward the virtuoso, hoping he’d agree to pose for photos. Mr. Lang obliged, a hundredfold, patiently appeasing each and every starry-eyed fan.
During an ever-so-brief break in the action, we asked Mr. Lang his thoughts on YUE Magazine. “I think it’s amazing that we have a magazine like this. Before, either we had the Chinese ones or the English ones. The Chinese magazines in the U.S. are only for Chinese readers, so it’s nice that this one combines the two worlds,” he said.
Hardly had he finished his sentence when another blushing fan approached, asking for a photograph. “Sure,” he nodded kindly, as the enthusiast handed her camera to a friend with an ill-disguised giddy grin.