22

April 2009

Are you being served? If not, why not? A Monocle global survey on the state of retail – the smartest shopkeepers, best buyers, happiest customers and sharpest ideas on the street, in the aisles and online.

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BHL express

Bernard-Henri Lévy, France’s leading philosopher, is no ivory-tower thinker. This January he went to Gaza (conclusion: the Israelis get a bad press). He says Pakistan is the worst rogue state, and he is also a critic of…

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Over drive

Car sales have collapsed but the economy is not the only problem: too many vehicles are design lemons – just see our list of 2009 sinners in issue 19. But this could be the year car design makes its comeback.

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Snow houses

Since 2007, the Colombian government has made over €50m from the sale of property confiscated from busted drug barons. And there are currently an estimated 1,200 buildings waiting to be sold. Plus a large collection of…

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No. 1 lady detective

Forensic scientist Porntip Rojanasunan is loved by the Thai public for her fearless exposing of corruption in high places – and also for her unconventional dress sense.

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Architecture/design briefing

Monocle's picks from the Stockholm furniture fair, an interview with Salvadoran duo the Washingtons, a layered house in Hokkaido and a pad that warms the cockles in the chilly far north of Norway.

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The Full Monte

In Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, multinational companies are setting up shop, ports are being built to serve the forestry industry and property is going cheap. All the city needs now is a new generation of global…

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French twist

Monocle makes for a rendezvous in the quiet backstreets and canals of Paris’s 10th arrondissement in spring’s freshest ensembles for work days and weekends.

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Only salone

Il Salone del Mobile, the world’s biggest furniture fair, is a bellwether of the industry and a showcase for new ideas. As brands gear up for this year’s show, Monocle finds out that the immediate future looks promising.

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Business briefing

Psychotherapy vouchers for French workers, an interview with Iceland's "minister of ideas", and why renewables are an attractive investment in hard times.

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Showering dressing

April in the northern hemisphere always provides wardrobe challenges to test the best in rainwear, tailoring and knitwear. Monocle heads to the streets and cosy shelters of Hayama – one hour south of Tokyo.

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Retail therapy

In the wake of bank bail-outs and car industry rescue plans, retail giants could find themselves standing next in line with begging bowls in hand. But it’s a re-think that’s really needed to keep the high street healthy.

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Happy mendings

In today’s world of throwaway consumerism, it’s good to know there are still tradesmen out there who pride themselves on giving your cherished possessions a new lease of life – from a cobbler in Milan who will lovingly…

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Inventory no.22

Additions to our desks, shelves and cupboards include a Japanese wooden cutlery set for children, a perfect pencil case and a Spanish pencil sharpener fashioned with military precision.

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Little big bucks

Native American tribes in the US and Canada have become powerful business and political forces and have learnt how to get Obama and Ottawa on their side. Monocle meets the chiefs leading the renaissance.

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Speed merchant

As president of Japanese company Fast Retailing, the parent company of Uniqlo, Tadashi Yanai is the richest man in Japan. After record sales in 2008, he is taking his low-cost chain to Paris and Singapore and hunting for…

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Variety show

Gumpendorferstrasse, in the Mariahilf area, gets the award for the most diverse shopping experience so far in Monocle’s series on stand-out streets around the world. Let the late 19th- to mid-20th-century signage that…

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Deep freeze

Russia’s boom years raised the profiles of its ‘second cities’, nowhere more so than in Ekaterinburg. But even as the cranes fall silent, the city’s entrepreneurs say the good times are not over yet.

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A clog's life

Talla clogs are produced in a barn in the village of Myrskylä. Originally workwear for the medical profession, the clogs are now a hit on the high street thanks to a collaboration with a Japanese designer.

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Americas briefing

How Google navigates geopolitics, why Mexicans are set to shrink, and why Atlantic City is betting on building more casinos. Plus, our Washington column looks at Obama's recruitment drive for new US ambassadors.

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