The end of an era, several sports departures, a baby boom and Indians on the world stage — 2022 witnessed it all. As we prepare to step foot in 2023, HELLO! lists the headlines that shocked, excited and changed the world this year.
The world upended: RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE
On February 24, the modern world as we know it changed forever with Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, sparking a war that’s still ravaging the country, forcing millions to flee. Heart-rending images of children taking shelter and once bustling neighbourhoods destroyed and deserted emerged from the invasion, which spurred a wave of economic sanctions, denunciations and other actions from the rest of the world against Russia.
Deadly missile strikes and casualties as well as accusations of war crimes by Russian forces continue to be reported till date. President Vladimir Putin shows no signs of backing off, despite repeated appeals from Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Zelensky and the world.
Indian heritage in NYC: SABYASACHI MAKES A SPLASH IN NEW YORK
New York’s West Village is now home to a new Sabyasachi address, quite the milestone in his Kolkata to NYC journey. At his signature retail experience in the fashion capital, Sabyasachi Mukherjee brings Indian craftsmanship and heritage to his international clientele, who can now flock to The Archive building at 160 Christopher Street to take in his brand of slow luxury and Indian decadence first-hand.
While his clothes found space in retail spaces like Bergdorf Goodman, Browns and Selfridges in the past, this is the designer’s first international store. It’s a work of art in itself, with hallways covered from the floor to the ceiling in framed paintings, 16th century Mughal miniatures, Indian Pichwais and vintage photographs, in addition to opulent glass chandeliers, plush hand-knotted carpets, aged mirrors and other trinkets that add to his East-meets-West narrative.
New kids on the block: THERE’S A BABY BOOM IN TINSELTOWN
Congratulations were in order all year round as more and more celebrity couples welcomed babies into the world. Among the new parents are Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja, Bipasha Basu and Karan Singh Grover, Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal, and Kajal Aggarwal and Gautam Kitchlu.
Overseas, we had Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas bring home their daughter via surrogacy, and Rebel Wilson going the same route to welcome her child. Jennifer Lawrence, Ashley Graham, Rihanna, Ed Sheeran, Rafael Nadal and Tom Hiddleston, too, shared their happy news with the world.
Many other celeb couples had their second child, including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Jason Statham, Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott, and Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas. Special mention: actor, comedian and TV host Nick Cannon welcomed his 11th baby this year — with a 12th on the way!
Indians on the world stage: RISHI SUNAK BECOMES PRIME MINISTER OF UK
Though there is much debate around his ancestry, Indians declared Rishi Sunak as one of their own when the news of his prime ministership broke. Sunak became the third Conservative prime minister of Britain this year — and also the first ever non-White individual to hold the top post. The former Chancellor of the Exchequer was born to parents who migrated from East Africa, though his grandparents belonged to the Punjab province of British India.
The former investment banker took over from Liz Truss, who served just 49 days at Downing Street, and now has the daunting task of trying to get the British economy back on the rails while attempting to unite the Tories. Sunak is married to Akshata Murty, daughter of Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy and philanthropist Sudha Murthy.
The end of an era: QUEEN ELIZABETH PASSES AWAY
It was, indeed, the end of an era when Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving British monarch, passed away aged 96 on September 8, at Balmoral, the royal family’s Scottish estate. “I know her loss will be deeply felt by countless people around the world,” said her son, King Charles III, whose coronation is slated for May 6, 2023. And mourned she was, as thousands gathered outside Buckingham Palace in London to pay their respects.
The UK observed a national mourning period of 10 days, till the queen’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey on September 19, when she was interred with her husband Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor in Mayfair, in 1926, she reigned for 70 years. Since coming to the throne in 1952, she witnessed 15 prime ministers, enormous social change, the transition from empire to Commonwealth, the end of the Cold War and the UK’s entry into — as well as its withdrawal from — the European Union.
Game of notes: ADANI TRUMPS BEZOS IN WORLD’S RICHEST (BRIEFLY)
In today’s day and age, lists of the top 10 or best something are always in the news — more so when it involves more money than most can fathom. Mid September, Indian billionaire industrialist Gautam Adani was on one such list — the Bloomberg Billionaires Index — in which he slipped past Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to bag the second spot.
Of late, it’s been a neck-and-neck contest among Adani (Asia’s richest), Bezos and LVMH’s Bernard Arnault for the second position in the index, a daily ranking of the world’s richest. Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter CEO Elon Musk continues to hold the top spot. Mukesh Ambani, the only other Indian in the top 10, now ranks nine (when we went to press).
The rise of the influencers: SOCIAL MEDIA PERSONALITIES TAKE OVER OUR SCREENS
This year brought the adage “content is king” — or queen — to life, with content creators and social media influencers finding place in every industry one can imagine. Masoom Minawala Mehta walked the ramp at Milan for Vaishali Shadangule, became the face of Estée Lauder and played showstopper for Varun Bahl and Gauri & Nainika at Lakmé Fashion Week.
Sakshi Sindwani and Juhi Godambe also took to the runway for high-end designers. Prajakta Kohli went from being a YouTube star to starring in a Dharma production, Jugjugg Jeeyo, and Mismatched, one of Netflix’s most popular shows in India. Comedian Kusha Kapila starred in a number of movies and shows, including season 2 of Masaba Masaba, and Myntra Fashion Superstar, where she was accompanied by Ankush Bahuguna, who also recently got his own YouTube show with his alter ego, Wing It With Ankush with Lakmé.
All in all, brands have realised the potential of roping in social media personalities that suit their message, be it for product launches or witty campaigns, and are vying for the attention of the legion of fans and followers they command.
The blue bird saga: ELON MUSK TAKES OVER TWITTER
After months of legal wrangling, Elon Musk took over Twitter in a $44 billion deal. “The bird is freed,” Musk tweeted, announcing the news in his typical eccentric fashion. While there was much speculation about Twitter’s performance and future direction even before the deal was sealed, to say that the social media platform has been plunged into turmoil since then would be an understatement.
The takeover followed thousands of layoffs at Twitter’s offices worldwide, starting from CEO Parag Agrawal — in addition to Musk firing any employees who voiced their dissent on Twitter. Twitter’s offices also abruptly shut down after hundreds of employees resigned and refused to continue to work under Musk’s new vision, with #RIPTwitter trending on the platform.
Legends bid adieu: SPORTING GIANTS ANNOUNCE RETIREMENT
It was a heart-breaking year for sports fans the world over, with many a top player announcing their departure. In tennis, we had two of the greatest singles players, Roger Federer and Serena Williams, break the news of their retirement from professional tennis. Ashleigh Barty, Jo Wilfried Tsonga and Juan Martin Del Potro also bid adieu.
In cricket, Indian women’s team skipper Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami announced their exit, while on the men’s front, Robin Uthappa and Suresh Raina retired from all forms of the sport. Four-time Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel also set his fans up for heartache, when he said this season’s race in Abu Dhabi would be his last.
This story has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in Hello! India’s December 2022 issue. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!