As an avid reader and hardcore information junkie, I’m always on the lookout for the perfect publication; the one which combines news on culture, style, design, architecture, clothing, art, politics, and global affairs.
While OTC focuses primarily on the physical side of style and culture – clothing, bags, shoes, ties, watches, etc. – equally if not more important is one’s intellect.
Being aware and literate about what’s going on in the world is, frankly, far more vital than what shirt you’re wearing. There are many, many pretty faces out there with nothing worthwhile to say; do not be another one.
Can you talk about world affairs, the environment, or trends in design? Do you have an opinion on art or literature? If you are American, do you actually understand what’s going on in other parts of the world? Sure, you like clothing, but do you appreciate changes affecting the business side of Savile Row or the environmental impact of mass market fashion retailers?
What do you know about global culture; craft vs. commodity?
When it comes to getting useful information about the big picture of global culture and style, Monocle is simply outstanding.
I have written about and referenced Monocle before, but I feel this remarkable multimedia publication deserves some additional attention.
The Monocle shop
What is Monocle? First, it’s a remarkable magazine. Each substantial issue is divided into sections covering affairs, business, culture, design, and edits. It’s packed with news, policy, insights, reviews, trends, and products from across the globe. As an American, I greatly appreciate the fact that the U.S. is treated as just another country, which helps provide a truly global feel to the magazine.
In fact, I was once chatting with New York clothier Jay Kos, a successful menswear entrepreneur and owner of his eponymous Fifth Avenue shop, and he told me that Monocle was about the only news source he bothers with.
Second, Monocle is a fully functional mixed media website. It’s like the magazine gone digital. Print articles from recent issues come to life online in video segments narrated by the story’s authors. Those with a subscription can access additional material, videos and news.
Third, Monocle is a brand. In addition to the magazine, lovely enough to stack on your coffee table by the way, and the website, Monocle has a collection of branded products.
Elegantly functional things are offered, many created specially for Monolce; from bags to furniture, Skeppshult V-Bikes to Valextra notebooks. They can be purchased through the website, the magazine or by visiting Monocle’s small pop-up stores located in Marylebone (London), Los Angeles and, shortly, Palma de Mallorca.
I’ve also become a big fan of the Monocle Weekly, a downloadable podcast akin to an NPR culture/news/interview radio show. Great for the Metro ride into work.
I’ll leave you with founder and Editor-in-chief Brule’s own description of this remarkable venture:
With a keen focus, strong reporting, sharp wit and more classic approach to design, we’ve dubbed our venture Monocle….Focused on informing and entertaining an international audience of disillusioned readers, listeners and viewers, it is our intention to create a community of the most interested and interesting people in the world.