First Look: Monocle

photograph courtesy of pureEVA
photograph courtesy of pureEVA

We got our first look at the brand spanking new monthly magazine Monocle this weekend. We were expecting something exceedingly well-designed and clever. We feared that pretty and clever would feel vacuous, like a superimposition of Wallpaper* in-jokes on top of the Economist‘s free market editorial.

Turns out our fears were misplaced, and that, more to the point, it’s possible to create a visually compelling monthly newsmagazine in sync with world events though independent enough to follow big stories because they’re sheerly interesting.

As evidence, here are some of the stories that compelled us to nest this past weekend over our copy of Monocle: an article on low-cost Aussie carrier Jetstar; an analysis-by-numbers brand breakdown of Swiss supermarket chain Coop; lengthy articles on the Japanese Navy and Chinese investment in Africa; an interview with Andrés Velasco, Chile’s Finance Minister; fashion spreads shot in Okinawa and Berlin, and a multipage ”Inventory” section packed with item of interest: magazines, underwear, weekend break destinations, even mineral water.

We’re hooked.

About the author

Alex Robertson Textor
About the author: Bitten by the travel bug at 11, Alex Robertson Textor has fond childhood memories of ultracheap Spanish hotels (the kind with Styrofoam shelving) and supermarket lunches scarfed on park benches. Formerly an academic, Alex has spent the last several years redirecting his professional life into full-time travel journalism and editing. He has published articles in the New York Times, Guardian Unlimited, Condé Nast Traveler, Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian, among other publications.
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