Sabrina Ho is sipping a sizzling chocolate at Mercedes Me, which sits for the foundation of a building her mom owns. Teetering in substantial heels, wearing the most up-to-date ensemble from Céline, she appears to be almost nothing much like the profile image despatched to us by Bellissima Italia, the Italian competition held in Hong Kong and Macau, which she co-chairs. The booklet sent to us from the organisers information the upcoming occasions and festivities, and reveals a portrait and passage by Sabrina Ho. In that image, she seems to be gravely sombre in a company suit together with her hair pulled again. Quite ladylike and suitable.
Even just before we fulfill, I realize in the young woman many thanks to her famed family. Her father is on line casino mogul Stanley Ho, and her mom Angela Leong is among the members on the Legislative Council along with the director of Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, who also heads numerous businesses. Sabrina, the couple’s eldest daughter, has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Hong Kong and is currently a project manager for two future hotels that are to be built in Macau - the Palazzo Versace as well as first property under Karl Lagerfeld Hotels & Resorts. Inside the meantime, she also manages two boutique hotels in Hong Kong and Macau, and she’s partnered with a Hong Kong listed company, Poly Auction (Hong Kong). The auction house specialises in high-end jewellery and paintings, and revenues hover around the HK$200 million mark. She established Poly Auction Macau in 2015, holding the position of director and CEO, and earlier this year she established Chiu Yeng Culture Limited. Phew. And we haven’t even covered the roster of awards and charities and several boards of which she’s a part. Did we mention she’s just 26?
Within minutes of our meeting, she puts us all at ease, nothing such as impression portrayed in the pamphlet - or because of the paparazzi. Her elfin smile and valley-girl intonations are a constant reminder throughout the chat of how painfully younger she still is, especially for someone whose CV is already a few pages long. But she won’t let inexperience stand in her way: “I don’t do just a single thing, I am involved with multiple projects, titles, roles and responsibilities. I always want to do something that hasn’t been done before.”
Let’s start along with her first chat with Prestige.
Your long curriculum vitae states so incredibly many titles. How do you see yourself?
I established Chiu Yeng Culture in 2016. I am the managing director, and Chiu Yeng Culture is among the main sponsors of your charity premiere of Inferno with Tom Hanks, a major event on Bellissima Italia’s calendar this year. But that’s not all I do - I see myself as a multi-tasker. I’m part of the group in Macau where I offer my suggestions and recommendations on how to develop culture and business. So in future, if people want to develop a project or get government funding, or if you are an entrepreneur and you want money from the government, our group decides which direction we should go in. We think about what kind of policies we have to encourage younger entrepreneurs. We don’t want it to be a one-way thing, we want to see the long term - are there consumers for this project, will they be able to sustain it, keep the enterprise going? Those are the issues we discuss.
What are you working on currently?
For the past few months I’ve been working a lot in Macau, so I’m constantly jetting to and fro, since my office is in Central and I mostly live here. In Hong Kong, I’ve been working on real-estate projects. We have a lot of hotels coming up, especially a big one particular during the centre of Lan Kwai Fong - that’s a huge project. The Karl Lagerfeld Hotel and Palazzo Versace in Macau are in development. Everyone is all too familiar with my father’s business, but my mother’s side - we are into developing real estate and that’s what my future is aimed at.
Where is home for you?
I go again and forth from Hong Kong and Macau weekly. All my household is linked to Macau; we have that Portuguese gene in us. I grew up in Hong Kong and went to boarding school in London, but home is Hong Kong and Macau.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love fashion. I was a debutante in Europe, and Chopard made me my own tiara named after me - I was the first Asian ever to be given my own namesake tiara!
How did you get involved with Bellissima Italia?
They chose me. I’ve been to Italy several times of course and I really love everything about it; the arts, culture, architecture - it’s all extremely unique and historical. And of course, the fashion. The brands I wear all stem back to Italy, be it Gucci, Prada, Armani, Loro Piana. And the food - I mean, come on.
Why did they want to work with you?
Originally, I think they found me because on the Versace hotel project that I’ve been working on. And my art background and my cultural development background. When I was first asked to be co-vice chair, it was an easy yes because I already like so many aspects of Italy. One among the projects I’m excited about is bringing amazing art from Italy to Hong Kong and Macau so that everyone can see it. Great art should be seen by all, not just a few.
Bellisima Italia is also a celebration of the Italian lifestyle, which they say is verytraditional on a single hand, and yet modern on the other. How do you see yourself in that aspect?
I’m a mix of both. I live with my family; my household is pretty important to me. I’m incredibly traditional in that aspect. I am extremely respectful to my elders. I get up and greet them. I am never disrespectful, like I’ll never be casual and drink with them or misbehave or use bad language. I wasn’t brought up that way. On the other hand, I am in charge of a lot of projects, I travel constantly for work by myself, I just go for it, I’m ambitious - that’s all incredibly modern.