June 8, 2020
William Li is an authority in the design world, a seasoned and highly regarded media executive and television personality, a world traveler and, as food aficionado Ruth Reichl noted in her latest book, “the personification of hip elegance.” Born in Manhattan, Li was raised in Chinatown by a single mother, an immigrant who instilled in him the importance of hard work and a lifelong appreciation for the art form that is food. From an early age, Li was drawn to the power of beauty and the potential of storytelling. A combination of hustle, humor, taste, and endless creativity propelled Li to the top of two fast-paced creative industries—and helped him build a global network across the worlds of retail, design, fashion, media, art, and culture in the process. During his 15- year tenure with CondéNastPublications, he was the publisher of the most noteworthy magazine launches in recent publishing history, M en’s Vogue and Condé Nast Portfolio, where he notably was the first and only Asian-American publisher. He continued on “to smash the bamboo ceiling” as a gay Chinese man in retail when he became Global Brand President of Ralph Lauren Home, responsible for the overall stewardship of the brand around the world. For the latest chapter in his professional life, Li taps into his passion for artistic, thoughtful storytelling as a Contributing Editor for Elle Decor and Town & Country, and as co-host of Lucky Chow, the public television series exploring unique pockets of Asian American culture, affording him an unparalleled opportunity to celebrate the rich history of his heritage through the lens of food. When he’s not globetrotting, he lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his husband and their whippets, Archie and Max, and spends his weekends in the Berkshires. He is a voracious gardener; a skilled home cook, a great collector of contemporary photography and drawing; and a connoisseur of dumplings and 90s R&B.