The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Wednesday 15 June 2016

Image: Getty Images

Orlando standing tall

Sunday’s attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando was the deadliest mass shooting in US history but many residents are already determined to prevent their hometown from becoming synonymous with tragedy. As people come together to mourn, many are also championing their city. At a blood-donation centre a few blocks away from the Pulse nightclub, where the shooting took place, Tom O’Toole is one of thousands who have lined up for hours to donate. He runs a car-parking service downtown and is adamant that, in spite of the tragedy, “[We need to] say that we’re open for business.” The attacks came at a time when Orlando, known for its theme parks and package holidays, was riding the crest of an economic wave. A swiftly developing biotech cluster, a thriving video-games industry and a new virtual-reality hub are adding fresh energy to a city that led the nation in job growth in 2015. For O’Toole and his fellow small-business owners, the horror of the attack will not mar a city already in the process of finding itself anew.

Image: Alamy

Man down?

The menswear industry is in a state of flux. Major houses are skipping men’s fashion weeks in favour of presenting mixed-gender collections during the more publicised women’s equivalents (last weekend’s edition of London Collections Men, for instance, was shaken by the absence of Burberry); others are staging their shows outside regular fashion week schedules and locations. But Pitti Uomo, a trade show traditionally filled with stalls rather than catwalk shows and held in charming Florence as opposed to the world’s biggest capitals, seems to be immune from this tumult. Indeed, the 90th edition, on until 17 June, looks stronger than ever: the glittering line-up is spearheaded by former Dior creative director Raf Simons (pictured) and Russian streetwear star Gosha Rubchinskiy, both of whom are hosting special catwalk events (Rubchinskiy tonight, Simons on Friday). Many in the industry believe that as designers look outside the conventional fashion week models, Pitti may be where their gaze falls. And if this edition is anything to go by, they could well be right.

Image: Iwan Baan

Switch it up

After 15 years in the works, the Tate Modern’s 10-storey angular tower known as Switch House finally opens this week. The new building, which is an extension on the south of the museum’s Turbine Hall, was designed by architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, the team behind the conversion of Bankside Power Station into the modern museum back in 2000. The £260m (€327m) renovation not only allows for 60 per cent more artwork from the Tate collection to be displayed but also provides plenty of open space and benches for sitting and whiling away an afternoon. “The ultimate success of a building is when it becomes a lively place, a place for the people,” Ascan Mergenthaler, senior partner at Herzog & de Meuron, tells Monocle. “I think that’s what the museum has to be these days.” To celebrate the opening on 17 June, Tate Modern has commissioned a series of performance pieces that will run until July. For more on Switch House tune into Culture with Robert Bound on Monocle 24 on 20 June.

Image: Ugo Richard and Gregoire Alexandre

Knowing the score

Paris has been gripped by football fever. It’s all about flags, national anthems, huge outdoor screens and hordes of tourists in the French capital, and the spectacle will continue as France hosts Euro 2016 until 10 July. In honour of the occasion some creative Parisians – namely Pascal Monfort and his agency Nutmeg – have opened a pop-up gallery and a bar in the cool area of Le Marais. La galerie du Ballon is hosting young international artists such as Steven Harrington, Nicolas Ouchenir, Jean André, Ines Longevial and Safia Bahmed-Schwartz, who have created works exclusively for the event. Also on hand are beautiful books from all over the world and a selection of great football magazines, including Shukyu, Mundial, Associated NYC, Rabona, Life After Football and 8by8. If custom-made football shirts are your thing, you can also get them here thanks to Avery Dennison’s clever laboratory. Later crowds head to Le Ballon bar to drink, eat, sample some good music – and, of course, support their team.

From Monocle 24

Image: Andres Barrientos

Embrace of the Serpent

Cio Guerra, director of the Oscar-nominated Embrace of the Serpent discusses his acclaimed Amazonian masterpiece. Plus: Gomorrah writer Roberto Saviano, the almost forgotten noir classic Too Late for Tears on Blu-ray and Beirut’s film festival.

From Monocle Films

Blinded by the sun

Monocle Films reports on the corruption and misguided ambition that have been a blight on the fortunes of tropical African island São Tomé.

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