6

September 2007

Do you recognise this nation? Making a modern state is easier than you think. Monocle reports on the basics of country construction.

Issue 6 cover
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The hills are alive

Bolzano, capital of South Tyrol, is experiencing a business boom quite beyond traditional tourism. Local initiatives have seen hi-tech start-ups soar in what is now the richest province in Italy. Is this Europe’s Boulder…

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But who are you?

With corporate brands more powerful than country brands, there’s a lot of work out there for agencies keen to rethink a nation’s identity. Over the next 40-plus pages *Monocle* looks at the construct of countries.

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Life lines

Sudanese-born Mo Ibrahim oversaw the launch of the UK’s first mobile phone network in the 1980s before taking his telecom expertise back to his home continent. Celtel, the company he founded, was sold for €2.48bn in 2005…

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Model nation

A failed Italy and a Grimaldi household in shambles presents the perfect opportunity for a marriage of convenience between Liguria and Monaco in 2014. If it sounds like a storyline from our manga series, it might well be…

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Bloom town

In our series looking at the companies behind everyday scenes, we visit one of the world’s biggest flower auctions. Blooms were first auctioned at a café in Aalsmeer back in 1911. Today the Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer auctions…

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Bank of the Nile

Sudan’s government is accused of aiding a genocide in Darfur and so the West refuses to do business with the regime. So how does this failed state cope? Well, for Khartoum the answer is with ease. With the help of Arab cash…

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The heat is on

Canada’s far north used to be too cold and inhospitable for anyone to survive there except the Inuit people. But global warming is clearing the snows and luring in a generation of ambitious speculators after oil, diamonds…

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Taste maker

Anna Zegna’s grandfather founded the fashion company that bears her name in Trivero, Piedmont in 1910. Still run by the family, the firm recently opened a cultural centre at the Zegna house. Anna invites us in for her…

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Country codes

On a map in the mind’s eye, Spain would be a kaleidoscope of vibrant colours while Poland would be various shades of grey. Brand pioneer Wally Olins gives an insight into how nation branding works and why every country…

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Driving test

Whether it is solid German engineering at Hochschule Pforzheim, new technologies at the RCA in London or size limitations at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, what rolls off students’ drawing boards today could…

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Charm offensive

Tokyo may be peaceful and calm but its governor is certainly not. Here he explains why his city has bad traffic (the Communists), what he thinks of modern Tokyo (vomit) and why kamikaze pilots were not suicide bombers.

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Finn blue line

Åland, an archipelago in Scandinavia, is hailed as a model for how to create a harmonious “nation” – without giving it full independence – academics and politicians even studied it as a model for Kosovo. The prosperous…

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Travel wardrobe

The brains behind Clemens en August decided the best way to kick-start the brand, in the absence of a big budget, was whistle-stop tours across Europe. Now the company – whose name is a nod to its C&A pedigree – is eyeing…

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Future classics

Menswear sales are still recovering from a dip in 2005, but this season’s Pitti Uomo was attended by 21,000 buyers with significant growth in eastern European and Indian markets. And its fashions were similarly forward…

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Selling souls

Christianity is big business in the US where retailers are using pop culture to shift godly goods: Jesus skateboarder sneakers anybody? *Monocle* visited the key show for owners of religious shops.

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Top Marks

As millions of students around the world head back to university digs, the residents of Casa dell’Accademia have it much better than most. Here’s a lesson in inspired design on a strict budget.

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Young rebels

No one – not even its only ally, Russia – recognises Abkhazia as a legitimate state. But 13 years after declaring independence from former Soviet Georgia, the region’s de facto government is determined to put it on the map…

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Running costs

‘Forefoot striking’ is the style of most professional runners – so why do the big brands all emphasise the heel? A tiny trainer company in Colorado is proving that the big boys need to stay on their toes when it comes to…

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Inventory No. 6

Wooden toys for the boys, skin treats and feel the Sap rising with some Scandinavian fizz.

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