The Monocle Minute

In association with Brand Hong Kong x Monocle logo

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Friday 8 April 2016

Image: Jeffery Bary

Page on stage

Pop-Up Magazine touched down in Brooklyn this week for the first stop on a US tour running until 13 April, selling out the Brooklyn Academy of Music (Bam) to a crowd of young, media-savvy professionals. The event – journalistic stories told on stage by a crop of writers and photographers, often with an orchestral accompaniment alongside images, video or illustrations – is an interesting model for any would-be expansionist media brand. The idea comes from fledgling West Coast publication The California Sunday Magazine and provides a clever platform for the editors to push the print product along with other projects. Brooklyn’s show featured an interesting line-up of unusual tales, from podcaster Phoebe Robinson to author Daniel Alarcón. And while the interactive elements worked – at one point the audience was invited to try two different cinnamon flavours as part of a story on conflict food – we feel there is room to be more adventurous still with the concept.

Image: Zengame

Camera; signal; manoeuvre

A radical change is set to hit the Japanese auto industry. Following a decision last November by the intriguingly named United Nations World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations to allow carmakers to replace side and rear mirrors with camera systems, the Japanese government has said it will be legal to drive mirrorless cars on Japan’s roads from June. Carmakers are already showing off vehicles that use in-car monitors instead of mirrors, while Panasonic and Denso, among others, are developing camera systems. Japanese manufacturer Ichikoh, which has been making car mirrors and lamps for more than a century, is developing its Omni Eyes system, combining 360-degree monitoring of the environment around the vehicle with adaptable lights. Mirrorless technology eliminates blind spots, can enhance vision at night and use wide-angle cameras to offer a broader field of vision. Technology is racing ahead but drivers might need some time to get used to not looking in their rear-view mirrors.

Image: Harvey Nichols New Menswear Destination

Palpable purchasing

The refrain that this is the age of online retail giants such as Mr Porter and MatchesFashion may be getting louder but the new menswear section at London department store Harvey Nichols suggests that there’s still life in the bricks-and-mortar market. Yesterday the luxury retailer unveiled its rejigged two-storey space, which was nine months in the making and adds 50 labels to the 270-strong collection. Cannily the store incorporates an ease normally associated with online shopping into its physical design. Conceived by London firm Virgile + Partners, a striking mix of materials – including a timber floor covered in resin – adorn rooms that evoke multi-brand boutiques rather than the usual department store shop-in-shops. Each boutique has an overriding theme; the Denim Room, for instance, groups together the best basic pieces from across the brands, with rails of white shirts and leather jackets. Anita Barr, Harvey Nichols’ group fashion buying director, explains that “not all men enjoy browsing so we’ve made the experience easy by merchandising products by type”.

Image: Stefan Fuertbaue

The Monocle Quality of Life Conference

Whatever your brand – whether it be business, hotel or even city – doing hospitality well should be a main concern. Who is setting the benchmark for experiences that are genuine, reliable and believable? Monocle will be asking the experts – including chef and food writer Bill Granger, Tara Bernerd of interior-architecture firm Tara Bernerd & Partners, entrepreneur and hospitality player Gregor Wenter and Amsterdam’s night mayor Mirik Milan – at The Quality of Life Conference from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 April in Vienna. If you’re interested in discussing what marks the best in hospitality (among many other topics) you can book your tickets here.

From Monocle 24

Image: Davide D'Amico

Put your helmet on

As Spring arrives in London, Monocle’s editor Andrew Tuck has been cycling around the city – and he noticed one or two things when it comes to the capital’s cycling policy.

From Monocle Films

Made in London

Globes, spoons and weaving: Monocle Films drops in on three makers that are helping to reinvigorate the UK capital’s artisanal heartbeat.

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