Archive for the Category Tyler Brûlé


Don’t call it a comeback

EVA Airways Economy Class Cabin

When we thought nothing could get better, we read this:

3. Who has the best economy?

– Pass.

So we’re back again.

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?.

Priorities, please

My Gay Pimp

The other day, we wrote about the horrific symptom SAS (saggy ass syndrome). We suggested that the WHO put it on some sort of suitable list for immediate attention. In these days of pandemics, it seems the world as gotten the wrong focus yet again. Our friend Tyler Brûlé reminds us of yet another issue for this United Nations outlet:

If the World Health Organisation has taught us over the past two weeks that there are six stages to a pandemic, then the purple pandemic that is sweeping Britain has surely now reached stage seven. Purple, in all its hideous shades, is now so widespread as an accent, highlight and dominating colour that there is a very real danger that the next time you pick up this newspaper it will be sickly shade of violet. Can you imagine? Would you read a purple-paged newspaper? What would it say about you? What would it say about the newspaper?

WHO – get your priorities straight. How long must we endure the colour purple?

Brûlé Airways – The terminal

The terminal

To start off this installment it seemed fitting to follow the process that every traveller normally goes through, from departure to landing. Hence, starting off with an attack on the so often sub-par standards of terminals worldwide. We often shrugg when touching down in the spectacle that is Heathrow Airport in London or departing from the tragedy of De Gaulle in Paris.

For inspiration we turned to some of the best aviation hubs around the world. Terminals are potential time savers when done properly but to be honest often they are toxic time wasters. Since our passengers are en route to Hong-Kong, Milan or Frankfurt at any given day and like all Business travellers run on a tight schedule. The terminal therefore needs to address the issues of infrastructure and design, the two most important aspects for any likeminded business traveller.

Infrastructure wise the primary inspiration comes from Tokyo’s own Haneda airport:

Tokyo’s Haneda Airport wouldn’t win any architectural prizes but boy, does it work. It’s a shallow airport, so you can get to check-in fast. Many airports try to funnel their passengers through one security area, but Haneda has six or seven, which means you can get from kerbside and past security in 90 seconds. It’s the fourth-busiest airport in the world, but it’s primarily a domestic airport, and doesn’t have a massive duty-free area. Instead there’s an amazing grocery store. You can even pre-order your groceries and pick them up after you land.

If you combine that with the Scandinavian architectual high note that is Copenhagen Airport, described as:

It’s just so exquisite, so uniquely Nordic, there’s no mistaking you’re in Copenhagen. The floors are teak throughout, and the signage is excellent: dark navy background with yellow text. There are washrooms every 20 metres, so you never have to worry about schlepping down the hall to find the loo.

Brülé Airways is combining a well-designed infrasctructure with fantastic Scandinavian design details wrapping it all up in the service mindset and attention to details of Japanese retailers to create a unique terminal experience.

A bankable opportunity

I think it’s a wonderful time (to be more enterprising). Rents are cheap. If you’ve always wanted to run a bakery for dogs, people are still spending a lot of money on their pets. This is a great moment to go and do what you’ve always wanted to do.

Tyler Brûlé, The Australian, 2009

The Brands: Incotex


Over the last few weeks, we have been wading through the retail jungles of Hong Kong, Vancouver and Sydney to pick up a thing or two before the skiing season in St Moritz ends, and the swimming season in Stockholm begins. It’s the same dilemma each year.

At times like this it feels good to know that although a post-shopping glass of Krug in Paris´ 3rd arr is a decent way of spending a Tuesday afternoon, the shopping answer to your question is always in Como. A Gi Emme is the store that always comes up trumps. And more importantly – they stock the eminent brand Incotex, an off shoot from the Italian fashion group Slowear.

Their chinos are simply incomparable, and also relieves you of a commonly spread plague known as SAS (and we’re not referring to the non-business class MD-80s that operate between ARN and CPH).

Tyler himself describes it like this:

Every season I’m seduced into trying some other company’s attempt at making the perfect twill trouser and they’re never even close to Venice-based Incotex. They get the leg silhouette just right and also ensure that wearers never suffer from SAS – saggy ass syndrome.

This disease could well be one of the most unpleasant inconveniences to have to witness for the surroundings. So before the WHO get their act together and puts the diagnosis on one of those lists, make sure that you flat fronts are Incotex – or Italian at least. After all, we’re not savages.

What people want: I

I don’t care if it’s a man or a woman reader, sometimes people just want to see a picture of a warship or a handsome-looking helicopter.

Tyler Brûlé, Guardian, 2007

Better people: Alain de Botton

There is one person that we love to turn to in order to find essential insights on life and society in general, that is of course the best-selling author Alain de Botton.

Mr. de Botton has for a long time been a prominent figure in the family around Tyler. Because of that and his impeccable tast in decoration, writing and, of course, life he will be a regular installment in this publication. I’m sure all of our readers are well aware of Mr. de Botton’s lengthy CV but for those of you who are not, let us paint a picture of this exquisite man.

Born on hills of Switzerland, he soon moved to London with his family (including a father that has been generous enough to share his fortune and potentially making the lives of the de Botton family very livable) but it was after graduating from Cambridge he started writing about the small things in life.

As a 23 year old (“while pretending to do a PhD”) he was ready to take on the topic of love, with his first book Essays in Love. The Independent gave it a reasonably fair review: (Mr de Botton has) taken philosophy back to its simplest, most important purpose: helping us live our lives.

With that in the bag he delivers thoughtful truths on a regular basis about topics such as life, architecture, status and travel. In short, the small things in life.

If you need more evidence, dear readers, that he’s almost somewhat of an equal to Tyler, his weekend pleasures includes doing emotional audits of airports and taking courses in luggage handling technique. That my friends is a true Tyler man. As such he has valuable recommendations for a better life:

Pick up any newspaper or magazine, open the TV, and you’ll be bombarded with suggestions of how to have a successful life. Some of these suggestions are deeply unhelpful to our own projects and priorities – and we should take care.

Listen to the advise of Mr. de Botton, we always do.

Mr. de Botton, welcome. It will be a pleasure working with you.

Improvable cities: Toronto

Toronto Financial District

Complacency. Such a disappointing diagnosis for a city. Tyler Brûlé´s ex-home town Toronto suffers from this badly, and we thought we should go through a few pointers on how to improve this sub-par Canadian city.

Ultimately, the responsibility for all urban development is the mayor´s. And as Mayor David Miller of Toronto refuses to incorporate the advice given by Mr Brûlé earlier, we see no reason in supporting him in his position.

And my God, when you fly over Toronto you see these vast tracts of two-car garages that jut out in front of the house, and these communities where you have to live by the automobile. It won’t be sustainable.

We demand an immediate ban on two-car garages. The madness must stop. Learn from the free bike schemes “Züri rollt” and “Vélib” in Zürich and Paris respectively. Look at Spain´s Renfe AVE first class rail development – the Siemens S103 Velaro is a more than adequate for medium range travel. Copenhagen has their Ansaldo Trasporti contracted driver-less Metro systems (that now steadily runs all the way to Kastrup – handy for the environmentally friendly pre-flight lounge hopper). The possibilities are simply endless.

We expect more from you, Toronto. If significant changes aren’t to be seen within short, we’ll have Wally Olins at your doorstep with a complete rebranding scheme before you can say “24-hour-a-day metabolism”.

Celebrations of livability: II

Treasure Island / The Island / L'île Perdu

Interviewer: – Will you be profitable in five years with Monocle?
Tyler Brûlé: – No, I already bought an island, and I did that with old media [money].

From DLD, 2009.