The Monocle Minute

In association with Brand Hong Kong x Monocle logo

The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 7 July 2018

World Cup

Image: Alamy

Playing politics?

Despite boasting an impressive new stadium, the Russian city of Krasnodar has no place at the World Cup – and some suspect foul play.

The recently opened €270m Krasnodar Stadium would not look out of place among those hosting Fifa’s flagship event. But there’s one thing missing: football. While Krasnodar was originally on the World Cup’s host-city long-list, it didn’t make the final cut. That’s despite the metropolis in southwest Russia having a larger population than several host cities, as well as a team in the Russian Premier League, unlike Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Sochi and Volgograd. Many think that politics has played a part; FC Krasnodar is owned by billionaire Sergey Galitsky, one of the rare self-made oligarchs with few connections to the Russian state. Krasnodar’s only link to the World Cup, meanwhile, ended prematurely when Spain, who were based in the city, were eliminated by Russia. Locals were not complaining about that result.

Fashion

Image: Getty Images

Small wonders

Fashion’s big four may be best suited to bluster and bombast but smaller cities such as Berlin can be just as beautiful.

When it comes to fashion weeks throughout the world, the biggest shows work best for the biggest brands. Paris, Milan, London and New York seem best suited for blockbuster collections in increasingly outlandish runway spectacles. The downside is that amid the fanfare, smaller but no less interesting collections don’t get the attention they deserve. This year, the intimate setting of the Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin Mitte played host to Odeeh’s newest collection. While the German brand is no stranger to the larger fairs, Berlin felt the most apt this year. “Berlin is a city that gives us opportunities,” says Odeeh co-founder Jörg Ehrlich. “Showing here is something different and we like to give a pro-Berlin statement.” The stir that Berlin Fashion Week has caused in its domestic market is a reminder that small can be beautiful.

Business

Image: Getty Images

Hollywood horror

With both sides ready to call action, the US-China trade war might result in heavy financial casualties for Hollywood.

Yesterday the first warning shots were fired between the US and China in what some are fearing might shape up to be the biggest trade war in economic history. While the imposed tariffs on both sides are expected to impact just about everything from soya beans to silicon chips, one cultural corner has been overlooked by analysts: the film industry. Last year, Washington and Beijing announced a five-year treaty to increase the distribution of Hollywood productions in China from 20 to 35 films per year – but the conversation has stalled amid rising trade tensions. It’s likely that the impact of the trade war will invoke ire from Hollywood’s studio executives at being denied a bigger slice of a market that last year eclipsed North America as the world’s biggest box office.

Hospitality

Lobby for change

While start-up founders still swear by hot-desking, one London company has taken its office in a more congenial direction. Anyone for cocktails?

In recent years the real-world positives of terms such as “hot-desking” and “co-working” have been zealously overstated by idealistic millennials and start-up founders. These new buzzwords have done little to halt the rise of workplace loneliness, nor is there much evidence to show that they increase productivity. Ennismore, which owns and operates Shoreditch hotel The Hoxton, unveiled its new HQ in London last week and the company’s in-house designer Charlie North had a bright idea: make your office like a hotel. “Our office entrance resembles a hotel lobby, we’ve got a roof terrace and two all-day bars,” says North. “We wanted to create clusters of different spaces where staff can perch and work, breaking the stereotype of people sitting at their desks all day.” Making cocktails available to staff will undoubtedly serve as a reminder of what good hospitality is all about – so long as they aren’t taken too early in the day.

From Monocle 24

Cibi

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From Monocle Films

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