The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Friday 15 June 2018

Diplomacy

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Choppy waters

It’s not exactly smooth sailing when it comes to diplomatic relations between Italy and Spain

After threatening to call off the meeting amid the diplomatic row over migrant ship Aquarius, Italy’s new prime minister Giuseppe Conte travels to Paris today to meet with French president Emmanuel Macron. The pair will be aiming for a rapprochement after Macron criticised Italy for the decision to shut its ports when the ship, rescued from the Mediterranean and carrying more than 600 migrants, requested to dock. Now, with the Aquarius bound for the Spanish port of Valencia – escorted by two Italian ships – the leaders of the third and fourth-biggest economies in the EU can focus on how they align on the toughest and most divisive issue facing the European community. There is no quick answer but solidarity between member states is a good place to start.

Society

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Talk of the town

Lesser-known languages are likely to disappear unless we protect them – a concern close to Wellington’s heart.

With the world becoming more globalised and connected than ever before, more people are speaking the same language. But some are worried about dialects disappearing – and cultures along with them. Wellington is instigating a conservation effort for Maori language Te Reo, with a policy to translate street signs, districts and landmarks. The aim is to make the whole city bilingual by 2040 and yesterday the city’s Civic Square was given a Maori name, Te Ngakau, which means “The Heart”. It is estimated that more than 60 per cent of the world’s population now share only 12 native languages. Reversing the evolution of common parlance will be no mean feat but preserving culture through language is a worthy cause for a city.

Fashion

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Suits you

Puig’s purchase of Dries Van Noten is a milestone for both parties and has got the fashion world buzzing ahead of its march on Milan.

We are in the throes of the spring/summer menswear season. And last night, editors and buyers gathered in Florence for the show by Craig Green (the guest designer at Pitti Uomo) had plenty to discuss. Yesterday it was announced that Dries Van Noten, one of the last designers to own his own luxury brand, has sold a majority stake in his company to family-owned Spanish conglomerate Puig. It’s a big moment for the Belgian who, over the past 30 years, has built up his brand into one of the world’s most fêted luxury labels, beloved by men and women for its elegant yet striking designs. It’s also a big moment for Puig, which has made its fortune from cosmetics but whose fashion portfolio is looking increasingly strong, with Van Noten joining Carolina Herrera, Jean Paul Gaultier, Nina Ricci and Paco Rabanne. No doubt this news will keep the men’s crowd talking as they board the Frecciarossa train to Milan in anticipation of this weekend’s shows.

Hospitality

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Heartbreak hotel

Japan’s incoming law to regulate short-term lets has meant some Airbnb customers will be kicked out of bed this weekend.

A law on home-sharing in Japan has left Airbnb users out in the cold. The new ruling, which comes into force today, means that property owners who wish to rent rooms, apartments or houses to tourists must register with municipal governments first. This has forced Airbnb to delist tens of thousands of unregistered places to stay on its website and cancel all bookings from now until 19 June, which has meant that people hoping to stay in Airbnbs this weekend are having to find alternative places to stay. The law, designed to regulate the short-term lodging market in the run-up to the 2020 Olympics, is angering some hosts who will now have to comply with fire and safety laws as well as cap the number of times they let out properties at 180 nights per year.

From Monocle Films

Tracht & Country

The national dress of the alpine region is experiencing a renaissance. Monocle Films dons its lederhosen and heads to the Tracht & Country fair.

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