Monocle is a global affairs and lifestyle magazine, 24-hour radio station, website, retailer and media brand, all produced by Winkontent Ltd. It was founded by Tyler Brûlé, a Canadian entrepreneur, Financial Times columnist, and founder of Wallpaper* magazine. Described by CBC News reporter Harry Forestell as a "meeting between Foreign Policy and Vanity Fair", the magazine aims to provide a global perspective on international affairs, business, culture, design, and fashion. The magazine is edited by Andrew Tuck.
The magazine launched on 15 February 2007. In September 2014, Brûlé sold a minority stake in Monocle magazine to Japanese publisher Nikkei Inc. The deal valued Monocle at about U.S. $115 million, although the size of Nikkei's investment was undisclosed. In December 2014, Monocle launched a new annual publication called The Forecast, intended to fill the gap between the Dec./Jan. and February issues of Monocle. The Escapist, a travel-minded annual magazine, was introduced in July 2015 and focuses on in-depth reportage of 10 cities around the world.
Along with a small group of private investors, Brûlé created and financed Monocle, a 10-times-a-year print magazine, in 2007. The first issue appeared in February 2007. The magazine, all in English with no regional editions, addressed a mobile global audience. Hamilton Nolan, journalist for Gawker, described it as "a lifestyle magazine for young, stylish, business-oriented jetsetters who receive free subscriptions". It had also previously been described on Gawker as a "travel-culture magazine" and a repository of "lifestyle sensuality and gaywad uptightness".
In June 2010, Monocle launched a summer newspaper, Monocle Mediterraneo. The newspaper directly opposed the iPad trend, with Brûlé declaring you cannot read an iPad on the beach. In December 2010 Monocle launched a winter newspaper, Monocle Alpino. The magazine believes in print media, and has neither a Facebook nor a Twitter account. Both newspapers were discontinued as of December 2014 and replaced by The Forecast and The Escapist magazines.
As well as regular advertisements, Monocle runs advertorials. In the September 2009 issue, for example, there was a large insert on Singapore, with a survey paid for by the government of Singapore and several large companies there, but articles generated by the magazine staff in the style of the magazine.
Monocle has also carried separate surveys on a wide range of cities, countries and regions, and has developed a network of correspondents around the globe who are listed on the magazine's masthead. These correspondents are in Perth, Paris, Washington, Nairobi, Belgrade, Warsaw and Bogotá, among other places.
In September 2015, Monocle started The Monocle Minute – a free daily email bulletin of news, opinions and opportunities – also published on its website.
In the Editor's Letter in the December 2017/January 2018 issue, Brule announced that effective March 1, 2018, all of his media holdings would be based in Zurich, Switzerland.
Monocle's website contains magazine archive content only available to paid subscribers, and 3 free-to-read articles per issue. It also contains over 500 films, slideshows and documentaries that are available to the public. The film content is also available on iTunes and YouTube.
The website sells products designed by the magazine's in-house team, as well as products developed in collaboration with brands including Comme des Garçons, Loopwheeler, A Kind of Guise, Private White V.C. and Porter. These are also sold in Monocle shops in London, Hong Kong, Toronto, Tokyo, Singapore and New York, as well as a series of seasonal pop-up stores.
Monocle's internet radio station, Monocle 24 can also be accessed from the website and an iOS app. Listeners can tune in live or browse the archive of all the station's speech-based shows.
Initially launched alongside the magazine in 2007, the website was redesigned in November 2012. In 2013, the relaunched website picked up several awards at The Lovie Awards including a Gold award for Best Writing- Editorial, Silver for Lifestyle and Bronze for Best Practices.
Monocle opened its London shop in November 2008, followed by shops in, Hong Kong, Toronto, Tokyo, Singapore and New York, as well as a series of seasonal pop-up stores. The Monocle shops offer one-of-a-kind travel items, limited-edition collaborations with niche brands.
In December 2008, Monocle launched the Monocle Weekly, a weekly radio programme/podcast, hosted by Tyler Brûlé, Andrew Tuck and culture editor, Robert Bound discussing affairs and hot topics from around the globe. The show was recorded in studios around the world, including Tokyo, Stockholm, Rio de Janeiro, London, and Sydney.
Following the popularity of the Monocle Weekly, the company launched Monocle 24 on 17 October 2011, in the style of BBC World Service. The internet based radio station, broadcast from studios on the ground floor of Monocle's Marylebone offices, is live 24 hours a day. When asked why the magazine was expanding into radio Brûlé said: "It's still, after almost a century of regular broadcasts, the most intimate medium in an ever expanding buffet of choice". Monocle 24 broadcasts live daily current affairs shows as well as weekly shows devoted to culture, food, urbanism, business, and design. The shows are hosted and curated by the magazine's editors and see 1.2 million downloads a month. Monocle 24 has a content-sharing agreement with the CBC in Canada, in addition to shows being featured on Air Canada in-flight entertainment. Programmes can be listened to live or downloaded at monocle.com and are also available on iTunes, SoundCloud and other podcast platforms.
In 2013 Monocle published their first book in collaboration with Berlin publisher Gestalten. "The Monocle Guide to Better Living” has since been joined by "The Monocle Guide to Good Business”, "The Monocle Guide to Cosy Homes”, "How to Make a Nation: A Monocle Guide" and "The Monocle Guide to Drinking and Dining". They also have a series of travel guides with Gestalten, covering cities including London, New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid.
In April 2013, Monocle opened the Monocle Café at 18 Chiltern Street, London W1. Its interior was designed by the magazine's senior designer Yoshi Takagi and built by EDO Construction. The café sells Allpress coffee and a library of Monocle magazines and books. The company also has a café in Tokyo in the Hankyu Men's department store with furniture made by Maruni.
In October 2015, Monocle opened Kioskafé - a magazine shop and coffee bar. Modelled on European city kiosks, it sells over 150 magazines ranging from art, design, fashion, culture and more. Situated close to London's Paddington station, the space was opened as a place devoted to great independent magazines with the number of independent newsagents in decline.
Monocle's annual Quality of Life issue ranks the top 25 most liveable cities in the world. In 2016, Tokyo was declared the winning city. In 2015, Monocle launched its first Quality of Life conference in Lisbon, followed by Vienna in April 2016. The Quality of Life Conference aims to bring together leading voices from the worlds of design, urbanism and culture over three days situated in different cities annually.
Since 2010, Monocle has also published an annual Soft Power Survey ranking countries according to their ability to promote themselves in the world via culture, diplomacy and trade. In 2016, the US was the winner.
In 2011, Monocle was awarded one of the top ten titles of the year by AdAge USA's 'A List', and Brûlé was named Editor of the Year. In 2015, it won a D&AD Wood Pencil award for its publication, The Forecast.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Monocle (magazine).|