12

April 2008

The Bullion Air Club: Monocle on the top-secret world of transporting precious cargo. Plus: anyone for extensions? A report on the human hair trade.

Issue 12 cover
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Salon rangers

Milan’s I Saloni – the collective name for the Salone Internazionale del Mobile and its associated offshoots such as Salone Ufficio and SaloneSatellite – are the most important events in the design calendar, with over 2,300…

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Trade secret

George Town, on the Malaysian island of Penang, was a colonial trading hub but after the Second World War it lost out to Hong Kong and Singapore. Now its faded Art Deco villas and relaxed pace of life are luring a new…

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The new deli

The centre of Germany’s second-largest city used to be known for its drugs and sex shops. Now, with ongoing gentrification, comes a retail concept that combines local organic produce with slick design.

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Going for old

The Japanese love vintage, but the idea of bidding for second-hand furniture is an unfamiliar concept. Now three entrepreneurs are bringing design classics to a new market in the country’s first modern and contemporary…

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Business

The coffee shop favoured by US troops, Dubai's building bottleneck, and mobile firms reveal their new organic deli.

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Fashion

Artist-designed sunglasses, tailoring by Italian brand Barbisio, Stockholm store Nitty Gritty and Margret Howell for Baracuta.

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Prime mover

Mitsubishi built Tokyo’s first office block, in the Marunouchi district, 114 years ago, and the firm is behind the area’s current redevelopment into a major financial centre. Overleaf, we dissect a Marunouchi building site…

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Sock appeal

From Lufthansa cabin crew to men about town, more people than ever are keeping their toes warm with Falke’s socks and tights. In the first of a series on fashion workhorses we look at the German-based hosier, which in 2006…

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Site seeing

Once a nondescript office area with little in the way of shops or restaurants, Marunouchi in Tokyo is undergoing the latest stages of a 20-year transformation into a vibrant retail and financial centre. The next phase will…

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Inventory no. 12

A Japanese inn special: the Masuichi Kyakuden Brewery hotel in Obuse, plus our great spring gift guide.

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Gilt trip

Financial markets are gripped by gold fever – it could soon hit $1,000 an ounce. Key to this secretive trade are the daily bullion flights between the world’s leading financial hubs. Welcome aboard Bullion Air.

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Present sense

As the northern hemisphere heads from winter into spring and the invitations to al fresco celebrations start rolling in, we thought a spring round-up would help take the pain out of purchasing presents.

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National expression

There are many ways for a nation to make a name for itself and build international brand equity. From winning a place on the Olympic podium to positioning itself as a must-stop hub, the options are plentiful, but the res…

Global

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Hair raising

The Bronner Brothers’ first hair show attracted 300 people at a local YMCA. Now one of the largest producers of African American haircare products, their legendary trade shows are part circus, part religious meeting.

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Night caller

Having converted one spare room into the perfect home office (see Monocle issue 4) we decided to turn our attentions to the guest room. Here we furnish the quarters with best-for-guests accoutrements.

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Americas

Why China is miffed with Canada, and Mexico's solution to groping on public transport.

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Do not disturb

After spending a rumoured €273m on a total overhaul, the Dolder Grand is hoping to cement its reputation as the European elite getaway, 109 years after its first guests checked in. But has the Foster redesign retained the…

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Saint Charles

The popularity of ‘natural’ cosmetics and remedies has burgeoned, and Austria is one of Europe’s top markets. In Vienna a group of friends with a passion for botany and herbal medicine are championing the use of local…

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Canal plus

In the past year 15,000 Venezuelans have fled Hugo Chávez’s regime to settle in Panama. They are not alone. Attracting everyone from US retirees to multinationals, Panama is emerging as Latin America’s most vibrant and…

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This is the way

Schiphol, JFK and now Frankfurt airports have all turned to one Dutch designer to create the perfect signage systems. Paul Mijksenaar tells Monocle about his crusade to take the art of wayfinding in a new direction.

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El Centro

In the 1980s the only deals being done in Cartagena were for cocaine. Now the drugs barons have been kicked out and the property kings are moving in to one of Latin America’s most promising cities.

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