Thursday 8 August 2019 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Thursday. 8/8/2019

The Monocle Minute

Opinion / Josh Fehnert

Have we got news for you

Today marks the return of The Summer Weekly, Monocle’s bumper Berliner-sized summer newspaper, to newsstands around the world. But we want you to be the first to get a peep under the covers as our editors are reporting from outposts of opportunity and the sunnier corners of the world. Expect scoops and splashes from the get-go: in week one we embed with the Swiss Guard in the Vatican (yes, the pope is playing with his barracks) and take a lounger at a smart Swiss badi (public bath) in Lugano. We also sit down with firebrand, politician and economist Yanis Varoufakis in Athens and talk to the CEO of Stadler about the future of train travel (the world’s gone loco, we can confirm).

Our summer newspapers, which are available every Thursday in August, aren’t just for fun, mind (though there’s plenty in the way of recommendations). This series shows our commitment to print and the craft of journalism – something we think is even more important in this age of distraction, disinformation and uncertainty. Monocle believes that there’s still a savvy audience looking for ideas, opportunities and entertainment in a tactile product that can be folded then ferried from boardroom to beach. If this sounds like you then pick up issue one of Monocle’s Summer Weekly newspaper – on newsstands now – and thank you for your support.

Image: James Mollison

Security / The Vatican

Are you a papal person?

The Pontifical Swiss Guard, an elite group of soldiers clad in Harlequin-like regalia charged with protecting the Pope and the Vatican, is one of the oldest – as well as the smallest – armies in the world. And it’s recruiting. The platoon of 130 men (all aged between 19 and 30, more than 1.74 metres tall and born Swiss Roman Catholics) has upped its numbers and is building a swish new €50m barracks to tempt recruits. But that’s not the only surprise: new kit (including a 3D-printed helmet) is part of a raft of changes intended to modernise this ancient order. Could this be your summer job? We head to the Vatican to find out more in the first edition of The Summer Weekly.

Image: Adam Amengaul

Fundraising / Los Angeles

Love match

Private institutions often have to get creative with how to secure funding for their activities. The Mak Center in Los Angeles is a case in point: every year it organises a fundraiser that plays to its strengths – and that can wow Californian crowds who are all too used to stuffy gala dinners. The Mak Games is a tennis tournament that’s out of the ordinary in more ways than one. Battling it out on the court are not professional players but figures from the city’s creative class, from actors to musicians. And then there’s the setting: an “infinity” court clinging to a cliff overlooking Beverly Hills on the grounds of the stunning mid-century Sheats-Goldstein Residence. In The Summer Weekly, we sent one of our ace reporters to learn about how foundations net cash in 2019.

Image: Getty Images

Environment / Indonesia

Where there’s smoke...

As fires rage across parts of Indonesia, president Joko Widodo is taking a trip to try to cool tempers in the region. Starting in Kuala Lumpur today and travelling to Singapore later this week, Widodo has some explaining to do. Forest fires are decimating provinces in Sumatra and Borneo. They are also creating a choking smog that’s drifting to neighbouring cities in a repeat of a similar incident in 2015. In recent days Widodo has reportedly sent thousands of police officers and firefighters to douse the flames and has also threatened to replace workers who haven’t managed to bring the fire under control. But what Indonesia really needs are more modern solutions to tackling wildfires – and less tough talk.

Image: Getty Images

Fashion / Copenhagen

Dressed for success

Copenhagen Fashion Week is in full swing and the streets are awash with modish crowds sporting streetwear staples, from trainers to branded T-shirts. Since its launch in 2006, the event has shown that there is a world beyond the oversubscribed runways of Paris, Milan, London and New York. It has helped to establish Copenhagen as Scandinavia’s foremost fashion hub, drawing talent from Sweden, Norway and Iceland. For press and buyers the appeal of being able to see the best in Scandi style in one fell swoop is hard to resist. Meanwhile smaller brands can get better exposure here – at tradeshows such as the Copenhagen International Fashion Fair and Revolver – for a lower cost than at the four main fashion weeks. Cities with an ambition to up their fashion credentials would do well to take note.

M24 / The Entrepreneurs


Flora Davidson and Gus Bartholomew are co-founders of Supplycompass, a platform launched in 2015 aimed at creating a trusted and transparent supply chain for the fashion industry. From sourcing materials to manufacturing, the platform helps businesses and designers know exactly what they are buying. The firm works with more than 50 factories in India and Portugal and more than one million products having been made through Supplycompass to date, including homeware and furniture.

Monocle Films / Sydney

Sydney: The Monocle Travel Guide

Sydney is a coastal crowd-pleaser that has long lured travellers to its shores and our 148-page hardback guide contains plenty of reasons to unpack your bags, settle in and linger a while. Published by Gestalten, our Sydney travel guide is available now at The Monocle Shop.


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