50

February 2012

Issue 50 indexes the businesses, brands and nations that have the charm factor. Also, don’t miss our Japan Travel Guide and reports on Ghana’s oil wealth and Tsutaya – which could be one of the best media stores in the world.

Issue 50 cover
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The art of diplomacy

In his three decades of foreign service, the US ambassador to the UAE has learned that art can play a powerful part in diplomacy, communicating in a way that transcends culture and language.

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Fashion Briefing

The clothes, bags and shoes we've fallen for this month, plus news designers, brands and retail ventures.

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In from the cold

In the fresh morning chill of the UK’s southern counties lies a late-1960s hideaway by architect Rex Johnson. Monocle makes itself at home with a selection of winter clothing befitting a lost modern classic. *Fas…

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Well oiled

Ghana is drilling for oil. Apartments are going up, the educated diaspora is returning and the government has a plan to avoid the “resource curse” seen in places such as Nigeria. In Accra the mood is optimistic and the…

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Inventory No. 50

This month our wishlist includes traditionally made soaps from Lebanon, classic kitchenware from the UK and brilliantly functional bags from Sweden.

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Drone zone

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are a remote-controlled method of attacking militant targets but often end up with civilian casualties. For Israel, the world leader in their development, they’re the future.

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Monocle travel guide

Monocle flies on ANA’s new 787, visits a bookstore-turned- restaurant in Porto and samples a cinema in Wellington.

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Rivals for the crown

An oil boom is driving Santos’s remarkable transformation and, as the cash flows in, the port city’s coastal cache and ambitious regeneration means it’s giving drizzly São Paulo a run for its money.

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Domestic bliss

Within four years of its launch, this privately owned Turkish airline has one of the most comprehensive domestic services in Europe.

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Design Briefing

A round up of news, products and projects, including stools from Mexico, cutlery from Germany and a definitive book on Danish design.

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Hanging by a thread

Iranian carpets are works of great craftsmanship. But with the souring of relations with the US and fewer Iranians prepared to endure the hard toil and low pay, the industry is in danger of decline.

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A silver lining

Monocle cracks the mysterious and intriguing world of safes and vaults by paying a visit to family-owned locksmiths Parma Antonio & Figli. Fortuitously the Italian economic situation is working in their favour.

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Putting on the charm

Embrace the charm. It’s all around us this issue – from the compilation of a Charming Index (yes really) to features that just make us feel warm and cosy inside.

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NY Chocolate Show

The Big Apple’s annual ode to chocolate is packed with punters unwrapping exotic bars of the brown stuff from around the world. The push this year – chocolate as a sophisticated and healthy option for a nation that conti…

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Kungsholmen

Traditionally the favourite of academics and young families, Kungsholmen runs as a small town within Stockholm. For decades it’s been a neighbourhood waiting to be discovered, but now the young creatives and entrepreneurs…

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Northern exposure

The Chinese city of Harbin is quickly establishing itself as a regional power, bringing in investment and cashing in on its food and fashion. Although it’s still a long way off Shanghai, it’s proving that it’s far from grim…

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Battle hardened

Norway’s minister of foreign affairs is a firm believer in dialogue, which includes analysing the painful massacre last July. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t prepared to send in the troops overseas if deemed necessary.

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The guru

Christian Stadil is the owner of Hummel, a Danish sports and fashion company, author of management books and a regular face on television. He tells Monocle about his business-model-with-a-conscience.

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