I cannot begin to explain all that I love about this magazine, but I’ll try….
Monocle has a global perspective and covers everywhere imaginable with surprising insights, some topics perhaps seem random, from nuts to scooters, but, trust me, it really works. It divides into its own special ABC structure: Affairs, Business, Culture, Design, Edits. The layout is lovely…effortless. Its printed on heavyweight matt paper with additional glossy pages containing either stunning location photographs or a photo-essay, for example on Sumo wrestlers!
Photographs and illustrations are given room to breathe and do not compete. Often illustrations are used in place of the usual head-and-shoulders bio-pic and the more quirky illustrations, including animations – available via podcast – of the Perfect High Street, show the Monocle team cherry-picking businesses from around the globe to create their own ‘fantasy neighbourhood’, is great fun.
Monocle is incredibly stylish, from the stunning locations of the fashion pages to the advertisers themselves (regulars include Cartier, Luis Vuitton, Gucci, et al,.) The magazine simply radiates gorgeousness, wealth and luxury; first class airlines, boutique hotels, as well as, lots of “desirables” recommended in the inventory section. Additional tie-in products such as a selection of leather-bound notebooks, a range of travel bags and fragrances are available to purchase at the Monocle shop based in Marylebone.
Its inspirational, almost everywhere covered I want to visit: Berlin, Copenhagen, Corsica, India, China, Japan, South Korea – and its not always a travel feature, it may just as likely be a “Business” feature covering an emerging market, perhaps to whet the readers appetite to carve out a niche here for themselves too…?
The city recommendations include non-touristy treasures, be this a café, a restaurant or a bookshop. Plus a few brief words from some stylish locals.
It champions well-designed and specialist hand-crafted products as well as architecture, old and new. I find myself fascinated reading (or watching the podcasts) about Danish woollen jumpers, handmade Italian shoes, a kindergarten in Tokyo that has a rooftop play area complete with rope ladders up and a slide down to the courtyard, or a New York restaurateur who is trying to save traditional Japanese houses by buying them, painstakingly dismantled them piece-by-piece, shipping them abroad and reassembling them. Alongside well-designed ideas comes eco-friendly ideas and highlights how we could learn from other countries and their green successes, such as, an underground refuse and recycle facility.
I love this magazine.