Archive for the Category Monocle


The Wallpaper tragedy

A wallpaper mall

Wallpaper, the magazine Mr. Brulé left in 2002, has since then been operating further and further away from our radar. Since it all of a sudden made a comeback in our newstands, being prominently placed in eye-level. We thought, for a moment, that we had missed something. That Wallpaper had went back to its roots, with extensive coverage of international travelling and Scandinavian design.

After a couple of glances we felt at ease again. Wallpaper is certainly not in it for a comeback. Readers, you are well aware of our hunger for outstanding, independent retail, that is as intoxicating as it is service-minded. Especially as retail sets the foundation of an economic comeback that can take us out of our current gloomy situation.

Hence, we were at least mildly excited to take a closer look at Wallpaper’s Retail Directory. People, even your next door automotive CFO will write down a more interesting list faster than you finish a sweet and dense espresso from Fernanadez & Wells.

Some examples; Diesel Store (New York), Tiffany (Tokyo), Lacoste (Paris) and so on. If we wanted Lonely Planet recommendations we would have bought one in that crowded, sweaty newsstand at Hauptbanhof when we arrived from our low-cost airline flight. As if.

Wallpaper, we grew up with you. You helped us take our first stumbling steps in international travelling. Such as which frequent flyer program to choose, which airy, friendly hotel to pick during our carribbean get away or how to pick a decent travelling bag. Now you are ill of all thoose mall advertisers and mainstream buyers, get well or don’t bother contacting us again.

Better societies: A Uniqlo owned Gap


A couple of weeks ago exciting rumours started to appear in the wonderful world of retail. That Japanese casual clothing chain, and long time favorites, Uniqlo was preparing a bid on the mismanaged US clothing company Gap.

Already in Issue 22, Tadashi Yanai founder of Fast Retailing, the parent company of Uniqlo, hinted that they would enter the US market through a large acquisition.

…the US is so big that there is no use in putting one store here and another there. So it comes back to the M&A story again. We want to purchase a company about the same size as us and use it as a platform to bring Uniqlo to all parts of the US.

The most obvious winners of this deal would be the American public. A society without neon colored polo shirts with popped collars is a society that can develop, that can move forward. Maybe even Monocle will recognize the benefits of this change, and we might see a US city on next year’s Most livable Cities list (alright we know Honolulu was on this year’s list, but really? Honolulu? Let’s call that a sponsorship…) . The best description of what Uniqlo would do for Gap is provided by The Cut

Because unlike Gap, Uniqlo is impossible to avoid. Need jeans in a pinch? Uniqlo. Have no plans to purchase anything but just feel like walking into a store with pretty colors? Walk into Uniqlo, walk out with an interesting, stylish $19 T-shirt dress. Can’t stand American Apparel but need basics? We could go on. It’s what Gap should be — though with Hamptons flavor and a slightly more subdued color palette.

Quote from the Weekly

Two huge cappuccinos

From the excellent 23rd edition of the Monocle Weekly:

You might have caught the headlines earlier in the week that had McDonalds announcing their plans of thumping Starbucks in the coffee retail wars in Europe by bringing its cookie cutter concept and two huge cappuccinos to high streets from Manchester to Munich. Indeed if ever it was a moment of a bit of culture and trade protectionism it’s now, or is it? Earlier this week another upstart arrived on European shores in the forms of South African born Vida e caffè. Originally launched in Cape Town Vida e caffè plays up a bit of a portuguese story and does so with a sunny southern hemisphere disposition. With…reasonably big ambitions for Europe is the concept just another Starbucks in giraffes clothing?.

Dresscode during Nuclear week

Kim Jong ll in pantusuit

After a week that best could be describe as Nuclear week. When North Korea decided to test nuclear warheads worth more than their annual GDP. This hostile activity has also contributed to a number of posts in newspapers everywhere on the disturbed mind of Kim-Jong II.

Monocle, naturally, sensed what was coming. Hence they featured him in the Style leaders section in the June issue.

In a nation devoted to grandeur and spectacle, to parades of immaculate marching soldiers, and immense displays of synchronised gymnastic, Nort Korean Dictator, Kim Jong Il, is the worst-dressed man in the whole country. His generals sport smart olive uniforms with characteristically broad-topped caps. His civilian aides dress in elegantly old fashioned dark suits. But whatever the occasion – the launching of a long-range rocket, the inaguration of the Supreme People’s Assembly – the man they call the “Dear Leader” inists on wearing what can best be described as a Stalinist pantsuit

How we greet

Tyler Brule

Sweden: Hur är läget?
USA: How are you doing?
Monocle Weekly: – Where are you fresh from?