The Monocle Minute

In association with Brand Hong Kong

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 13 July 2017

Fashion

Image: Alamy

Colette to let it go

Why the revered boutique in the French capital is calling it a day after 20 years.

Colette, the beloved Parisian boutique and one of the world's first “concept” stores, has announced that it will close in December after 20 years at the cutting edge of retail. Colette Roussaux caused a stir in 1997 when she opened her shop on Rue Saint Honoré with a basement café and two floors filled with fashion, homeware, knick-knacks and art. In the decades since, Roussaux and her daughter Sarah Andelman have attracted a dedicated following thanks to their keen eye for up-and-coming talent, and count Karl Lagerfeld among their biggest fans. “We’ve had 20 beautiful years,” says Andelman, adding that the reasons for shutting are personal, not financial. “My mother is now at an age to retire – and Colette without Colette wouldn’t be Colette.”

Diplomacy

Image: Getty Images

Under the radar

Trump’s efforts to close off Cuba haven’t stopped cruise lines navigating the tempestuous waters.

Despite the numerous travails that have dogged his relatively short stint in office, president Donald Trump has still insisted on making a show of tightening travel restrictions with Cuba and rolling back Barrack Obama’s detente with the communist island. This change in tack has spurred airlines to cut flights – but cruise ships are taking little notice. This week Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line announced that it would be expanding its Cuba-bound voyages in 2018. So how is it sailing through the new restrictions? While Trump has mostly put an end to individual travel, group cultural and educational visits are permitted, and it is this exception that cruise lines have seized upon to allow them to still operate. But it may not be all smooth sailing: there is concern that Cuban ports won’t be able to handle the 250,000 visitors expected over the next two years.

Politics

Image: Getty Images

Painful memories

A year on from the failed coup in Turkey, where does the country stand now?

For many Turks, this weekend will mark a year of momentous change for their country after the failed coup d’etat on 15 July last year, when the rule of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan took on a new tenor of authoritarianism. Since the coup there has been a mass purge of the civil service and judiciary, and a much-reviled referendum to give the president executive powers. On Sunday a midnight prayer will be broadcast from mosques around the country to mark the original call to action that drew people out of their homes on the night of the putsch to face the soldiers. The sense of drama here is no accident: Erdogan used the coup to write a creation myth for his so-called “New Turkey”. Yet as hundreds of thousands of people marched this week (pictured) in the name of the opposition, the ending to that tale hasn't yet been written.

Business

Bangkok bonanza

A new co-working space in the Thai capital anticipates a digital deluge of inspired start-ups.

Bangkok has a young but growing start-up scene and the AIS Design Centre, a co-working space with a strong technology slant that launches downtown today, taps into that community. It’s in the former home of the Thailand Creative & Design Centre (TCDC) in Emporium mall and the revamped space retains the expansive library of design books and magazines that the organisation was renowned for. But it also expands on this to include studios, digital-developer workshops offering expert mentorship and meeting rooms for people to pitch their projects. It’s a signal to Bangkok’s entrepreneurs that there’s support for their ideas and the AIS set-up should help smooth the transition for homegrown makers looking to scale up.

From Monocle 24

Juniqe

The Entrepreneurs

Juniqe is a fast-growing Berlin-based start-up selling a curated selection of wall art and home accessories from independent artists; it’s one of a growing number of businesses attempting to disrupt the mass art market. Its co-founder Lea Lange tells us how her company is leading the pack – and why Berlin is a great place to set up shop.

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