The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Friday 10 February 2017

Image: Lorne Bridgman

Upward trajectory

Yesterday Air Canada unveiled its new face in Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver; it signalled the flag-carrier’s turnaround, which has been years in the making. The airline’s new livery, uniforms and cabin upgrade mark its 80th birthday and the 150th anniversary of Canada. After some years of uncertainty in the early 2000s, the country’s largest airline has re-established itself as North America’s number one with a stock value increase of more than 800 per cent since 2012. The mainline fleet’s new livery – characterised by the return of the Air Canada rondelle on the tail and a black belly, tail and windscreen mask, in homage to the country’s steep mountains, deep lakes and indigenous birds – was designed by Monocle’s sister company, creative agency Winkreative. It will be rolled out across Air Canada and Air Canada Express over the next few years.

Listen to the full story on The Monocle Daily.

Image: Taneka/Anne-Emmanuelle Thion

Wearing it well

This week Paris hosted the biannual textile and fabric fair Première Vision, where international designers select the patterns, colours and textiles that will shape the next fashion season. Everyone from Paul Smith to Nigel Cabourn paid the Paris-Nord Villepinte convention centre a visit to browse through fabrics, yarns, accessories and designs for their next collections. “Transforming ideas into trends is not the decision of one person,” says Pascaline Wilhelm, fashion director of Première Vision. “It’s an international construction of ideas and concepts, fusing reality and intuition. We decide what will be in fashion in 18 months and beyond.” Despite global political uncertainty, the fashion world seems to be sanguine: “It’s a season full of colours,” says Wilhelm. “It makes us think we can be optimistic about the future; we couldn’t say the same thing a year ago.”

Tune in to The Globalist for more on this story.

Image: Kohei Take

People power

While Tokyo keeps getting bigger, other cities across Japan are fighting to stem a population outflow. Last week the Cabinet Office called for an initial ¥56bn (€4.6m) to be distributed among 609 regional governments to promote job creation and improve infrastructure. Recently released census data revealed that more Japanese citizens moved in than out of Tokyo in 2016 and the number is expected to rise even further thanks to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The situation in the capital lies in stark contrast to other regions, such as the snowy city of Obanazawa in Yamagata prefecture, which lost 236 of its 17,000 residents only last year. The government’s initiative was called into being after a study showed that half of Japan’s municipalities were in danger of disappearing one day.

Tailored solution

New York’s Garment District has shrunk considerably in recent years thanks to overseas competition and spiralling Manhattan rents. Indeed the sector, which employed hundreds of thousands at its peak in the 1950s, has now diminished to some 20,000. But plans are underway to give the textile and clothing industry a boost by moving part of it to the rapidly changing Brooklyn neighbourhood of Sunset Park, already home to Industry City. Thus far more than 100 manufacturers have relocated to the more affordable location, supported by the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative, a $6m (€5.6m) partnership programme between the city and the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The nation's push to bring manufacturing back home might be just what New York's garment industry needs.

From Monocle 24

Image: Bernard Spragg NZ

The Urbanist

A name can be a very powerful thing for a city: it’s not only how people identify locations and buildings but one of the most important branding tools too. But what happens when a name simply stops working?

From Monocle Films

Wine special: South Tyrol

A new generation of wine producers in South Tyrol have shifted the focus from quantity to quality, now successfully concentrating on what makes the tipple from this region so special. We visit Merano Wine Festival to meet the people behind this change in the Italian Alps.

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