December 2022/ January 2023 Cover Story: Embracing The Next Chapter with Richard Kyle

DAMAN once again teams up with Richard Kyle and Louis Vuitton for a showcase of the latter’s latest pieces and a chat with the former about traveling, spending time in Australia and tackling his next goal. Anindya Devy writes

Louis Vuitton Spray Denim Jacket; Graphic Short-Sleeved Knitwear; Spray Denim Pants; Trainer Sneaker in Blue

Richard Kyle is no stranger to the magazine. In fact, this is his third time gracing our cover. You know what they say” third’s time the charm. But the charm was never a problem with Australian-born model and actor.Never without his iconic smile, Kyle is still living that happy traveling life, always exploring new spots to start new adventures. A year plus since we last met him, we’re eager to hear what’s new with him…

DAMAN: Hi Richard, awesome to have you with us again. How are you doing these days?
Richard Kyle: I’m good, as always. I’m energized, keeping healthy and enjoying life to the fullest. And as always, I’m traveling because traveling opens your mind and gives you knowledge to everything in life. It provides new experiences and new “coaches” that we can learn from.
DAMAN: Now that the year is ending, how was 2022 treated you? Any memorable highs and lows that you can share with us?
Richard Kyle: 2022 treated me very well. Of course, everything slowly went back to normal and I think the idea of being able to get back from all the missed opportunities and having the whole world dealing with the pandemic for the past two years was a test to all of us. But this year treated me very well, I had a project that I shot in a period of over two months earlier this year that will be airing early next year. So, that was a good start. And most of my family moved to Bali, so I can be closer to them now. It’s really cool to be able to visit them whenever I want and spend time with them because I like to keep them close more and more as we all grow older.

Louis Vuitton Regular Long-sleeved Shirt; LVSE Panelled Cargo Pants in Navy; 1.1 Millionaires Sunglasses

DAMAN: And do you think the year has taught you anything?
Richard Kyle: I feel this year taught me a lot. Whatever you go through, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, so we have to focus on our goals, our mission—whatever that may be. I also learned to keep my head down and keep working hard to achieve those goals. So, every year there’s always a new mission and accomplishment that you want to achieve. This year I’ve been able to shoot a new project that took a lot of my time, but I was also able to get back into my routine—my healthy lifestyle that I love very much.

DAMAN: Scrolling through your Instagram account, we saw how you travelled and explored all over Indonesia this year. What has been the most memorable trip?
Richard Kyle: That would be a trip I did for a client. I got to go to Sumatra, to this spot on the border of Aceh and Medan, and I went to the Mount Leuser National Park. I did white water rafting in some of the most beautiful rivers I’ve ever seen. We set camp and spent four days in the national park, just enjoying and exploring nature, rafting from one spot to another. I was even able to bring my bike with me and do some cycling as well. That was so memorable to me because I’ve never been to Sumatera and I got to experience the beautiful, natural forest with many Sumatran Orangutans and many other species that have adapted to the environment. It’s just absolutely amazing. So, yeah, it was one of the biggest highlights and most memorable moment of the year.

Louis Vuitton Keepall 25
Louis Vuitton Monogram Camo Fleece Blouson; Monogram Camo Fleece Jogpants; City Keepal; 1.1 Millionaires Sunglasses; Baroque Ranger Boot in Nuage

DAMAN: Of course, you also met a lot of different groups of people. What did you take away from that part of your travels?
Richard Kyle: I think that, most importantly, by traveling and meeting different people, I can understand more about their culture. Everyone I meet were always so friendly and open to show what they produce and create, telling me their history and welcoming me with open arms. I think that is what really special about Indonesia—its friendliness and its charm.
One other thing that really connects with me with Indonesia is the “Unity in Diversity” motto. This has always stuck with me, because even though as we are blessed with so many cultures we’re always united as a nation.

DAMAN: Are you still involved with any charity work this year?
Richard Kyle: Oh yes, of course! I’m still involved with charity work: I’m an advocate for orangutan survival, to keep this species alive. I still work with the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation and, this year, I’ve been doing volunteer work by speaking at international schools, educating and sharing insight on some of the work and the projects we do to the students. I also encourage them to participate by donating, buying merchandise from the foundation or adopting an orangutan so we can fulfil our mission, which is to rehabilitate the orangutans and put them back to their forest. This is my fifth or sixth year working with the BOS Foundation and it has always been a non-stop commitment. But this is something that I have a lot passion towards and the family connection that I have working with the foundation keeps me pushing for achieving the next mission.

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DAMAN: You also attended the opening for the SEE LV exhibition in Sydney not too long ago. What do you think about the exhibition and what was your favorite part of it?
Richard Kyle: I thought the exhibition was amazing. The last time I went to a Louis Vuitton exhibition was the Time Capsule that was based in Jakarta, and before that a collaboration with Fragment in Singapore and that was also such a great highlight. But the SEE LV exhibition was incredibly unique. Besides being held in such an iconic landmark, in this beautiful harbor area in front of the Sydney Opera House, the exhibition was very interesting as they use AI technology to produce some of the visual and artistic elements. I also learned about designs from hundreds years ago. Interestingly, when you look at the original shapes and designs, they haven’t changed much. We got to see different generations of the bags, and how they changed and morphed into what they are today. I’ve never realized that so much from the past has been brought into the future. Being able to learn more about the history of Louis Vuitton and what is has become now is amazing.

DAMAN: Moving on, what keeps you busy these days? Are there any projects that you’re currently working on or any upcoming projects that you can share?
Richard Kyle: I do have an upcoming project that I’ve worked with that’s coming up, and it’s coming out this December. I’ll be doing the promo of this project and the only thing I can say is that I’m working with HBO and it’ll be airing all around Southeast Asia on all their platforms, although mainly on HBO Go. I guess that’s all I can say, but I hope you guys all enjoy this unique performance of mine.

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Louis Vuitton Reversible Double Face Hooded Blouson; Signature Relaxed Pants; 1.1 Millionaires Sunglasses; Trainer Sneaker in Blue

DAMAN: Ultimately, what is it that drives you? And conversely, what makes you the happiest when you just want to switch it off for a while?
Richard Kyle: This is a very good question. What drives me and motivates me in life is knowing that age is just a number. It doesn’t matter that you get older and it doesn’t matter when people always wonder that when you get older you can’t do this or that. I think that’s not true, as long as you set your mind to it and you work hard for what you want, you’ll get it. And making sure you’re always happy and positive is such an important thing in my life. What makes Richard Kyle today is that I always make sure to laugh and smile every day, always be positive in any situation, even though the situation is negative. You just turn that negativity into something positive and push on for the next best thing, because there’s always one just around the corner. I’ve been so blessed and I’m very grateful for the opportunity and everything that I’ve had so that drives me to be positive.
What makes me happiest is just seriously getting out, whether that’s riding a bike or going for a run or just getting away from the city. Go freediving, jumping in the water with your fins or going under the water— that’s switching off for me. Listening to the water and the surroundings is such an amazing way to make you feel that this is life and this is what we need to live for. Sometimes, it not about buying things, sometimes it’s just the simple things that makes us happy. And that’s what I’ve always lived for.

DAMAN: One final question: What would you say is your next goal for now? What are some of the milestones— personal or professional—that you want to tackle soon?
Richard Kyle: I think the next goal for now is to develop personal projects, whether selling property or maybe starting a business or something I can work with my good friends or family. Maybe open up a restaurant or café. I’m not sure yet what it would be eventually, but essentially, it’s just about developing ideas and creating something that’s very me. I definitely have a goal in the next five years to open up my own personal gym—that’s something I’m working on slowly. To be able to have my own business would be a huge milestone for me, especially being able to run that while I have my career in the film industry. What I want to tackle at this moment is developing a couple of villas that I can rent out for the Bali market. That’s a personal project that I’m working on right now and hopefully it’ll be done by the end of 2023.