The Monocle Minute

In association with Brand Hong Kong x Monocle logo

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 24 November 2016

Image: Hiroko Masuike/PA

Silver lining?

Looking for some good news to emerge from the US presidential election? According to a recent poll from Pew Research Center just under half of the population is happy that Donald Trump was victorious, not too different from the number of people (52 per cent of those canvassed) who feted Barack Obama’s re-election four years ago. But the overall picture is still pretty gloomy, with faith in the way that the candidates, the president-elect, the press and the pollsters conducted themselves at its lowest point since 1988. At least Trump seems to be going back on a number of radical items on his agenda. Following Tuesday’s interview with The New York Times it seems there might be a chance that the US won’t pull out of the Paris climate accord and that he’s “going to work very hard to bring the country together”.

Image: Luke Hayes

Design history

Today London’s Design Museum opens to the public in its new location on Kensington High Street with a number of compelling exhibitions, including Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World. The museum was a long time in the making. “The fact that it stands here is a miracle,” says Reinier de Graaf of Dutch architecture firm OMA, which refurbished the former Commonwealth Institute with its parabolic copper roof in collaboration with Allies and Morrison and interior architect John Pawson. The team had to cross many hurdles to restore the building and the museum’s opening exhibition reflects the collaborative effort it took. For the show, OMA and its think-tank AMO came up with a Brexit-inspired installation called The Pan-European Living Room. It brings together furniture from each of the EU’s 28 member states and looks out on a picture of Rotterdam in ruins after World War Two. “It’s to send a warning,” says De Graaf. “This distant past seems all too recent.”

Image: Janis Miglavs/Alamy

Bubbling along nicely

French winemaker and global luxury brand LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is betting on growth in the Chinese wine market, which – according to Euromonitor International – is estimated to rise to €21bn. The nation recently surpassed France in terms of its vineyard acreage and has become a focal point for Moët & Chandon. Since 2014 the company has been dedicated to producing a fizzy mix of chardonnay and pinot noir on its vineyard in Ningxia and come 2017 it’s set to roll out Chandon Me, a new sparkling wine specifically sweetened to suit the Chinese market. With supermarket tastings, winery tours and promotions at restaurants, the LVMH wine and spirits group is hoping to persuade Chinese buyers to pay ¥200 (€27) per bottle.

Eco chic

Fashion is one of Sweden’s most lucrative sectors, with thousands of items by the likes of Acne and H&M sold across the globe each day. It’s nice, then, to know that such an influential industry is throwing a spotlight on sustainability. One programme leading the way is Stockholm-based Mistra Future Fashion, which was launched in 2011 to facilitate collaboration between scientists, designers and economists to create eco-friendly materials and brainstorm tactics for recycling unwanted clothes. Their findings are being discussed in Circular Transitions, a two-day conference in London that will see sustainability experts from brands such as H&M and Filippa K take to the stage. “The most important thing today is transparency throughout the production process,” said H&M’s sustainability manager Catarina Midby, speaking at the launch event. Other countries with thriving fashion industries, take note.

From Monocle 24

Coffee culture

It’s sold in more than 140 countries, served in more than 100,000 outlets and almost seven million cups of its product are consumed everyday. But with an evolving coffee scene, a rise in Asian demand and the threat of climate change, how is Italian brand Illy preparing for the future? Daniel Giacopelli sits down with Massimiliano Pogliani, the first CEO employed from outside the family, to find out.

From Monocle Films

Seoul design

Long overshadowed by its neighbours, Seoul’s creative community is flourishing as a new generation of designers, artists and entrepreneurs develop projects, from product design to theatre spaces. Monocle’s Gabriel Leigh travelled to the South Korean capital to meet some of the people leading the charge.

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