Wednesday. 16/10/2019

The Monocle Minute

Opinion / Jamie Waters

Rewriting the resale rulebook

The luxury industry is built on being aspirational and exclusive. So it’s surprising that the luxury-clothing resale and rental markets are booming; the predominantly online resale market is expected to more than double in size to €15bn in the next three years.

Most intriguing is what this movement says about our shifting views on high-end fashion: namely, that items don’t have to be new to be covetable. Vintage shops have existed for years but trailblazing resale and rental companies such as The RealReal and Rent The Runway aren’t trading nostalgic 1980s gems: their remit is almost-new designer pieces. It would have been unfathomable, even a decade ago, to grow multimillion-dollar businesses by selling pre-worn dresses and boots.

So what’s behind our softening stance on secondhand? For a start, younger customers have grown accustomed to a borrower culture; we regularly use the likes of Uber, Spotify and Airbnb. And then there’s that “s” word: sustainability. Instead of being associated with pejorative hippie-dippy vibes, reusing, repurposing and recycling have become ingrained in mainstream thinking as important, attractive assets. So resourcefulness is celebrated, wastefulness is passé and secondhand has a new sheen.

Politics / Budapest

Growing consensus

Pro-European, centre-left politician Gergely Karacsony scooped half the vote to win Budapest’s mayoral election on Sunday but questions are still swirling about how best to challenge the country’s nationalist Fidesz party. The ousting of the far-right incumbent in the city is a blow to the authority of the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban, and marks a crucial moment of co-operation between the various competing opposition parties. “This is the first significant loss for Orban since 2006,” says journalist Valerie Hopkins, who covers southeast Europe for the Financial Times. “There’s been unprecedented unity among the opposition. It’s going to be very interesting to see if they can maintain the momentum going forward – and if they can build on the success of campaigning together to actually govern together.”

Elections / Mozambique

Violated vote

Many of Mozambique’s 13 million registered voters headed to the polls yesterday. That marked the end of an election campaign marred by a corruption scandal and violence; it has claimed the lives of more than 40 people, while 200 have been injured. The incumbent, Filipe Nyusi, is likely to secure a second term in office, maintaining his Frelimo party’s grip on power (it has ruled the east African nation for the past four decades).

That said, main opposition party Renamo hasn’t given up hope of an upset, particularly at a local level. This will also be the first time that the 10 provincial governors will be elected by the people, rather than appointed by the president.

Transport / Global

Upwardly mobile

The odds on a future filled with flying cars may have shortened this week due to the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Boeing (and its subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences) and German carmaker Porsche. The tie-up will begin in earnest with the development of an airborne vehicle capable of operating in dense city centres, thanks in part to a vertical take-off and landing capability. The date of this project’s likely delivery is as yet unannounced and although Porsche now has an aerospace partner, the likes of Tesla and Toyota are also working to develop these vehicles. The concept of airborne mobility may seem futuristic but the need to create regulations, policies that protect privacy and a framework for thinking about flightpaths are issues that need resolving sooner rather than later. An Uber hovering above your house at midnight does not sound fun.

F&B / Japan

Glass half full

Sports fans are doing their bit to add some froth to Japan’s economy. The country’s four big brewers – Kirin, Asahi, Suntory and Sapporo – reported double-digit sales growth of beer and drinks such as low-malt happoshu in low-priced beer categories in September, from the same month last year. Much of the credit goes to fans at the Rugby World Cup, which kicked off on 20 September, but Japanese consumers were also stocking up on liquor before the national sales-tax hike to 10 per cent. It was a rare piece of good news for an industry that hasn’t had much to rejoice about lately: last year beer sales hit a record low, marking the 14th consecutive year of decline. The upswing is raising expectations for another bump in sales during next year’s Olympics in Tokyo.

M24 / Food Neighbourhoods

Chicago, Logan Square

We visit one of Chicago’s most bohemian and multicultural neighbourhoods, home to many of the city’s best restaurants, bars and cafés.

Monocle Films / Leipzig

Leipzig’s artist studios

Dubbed the new Berlin, Leipzig is home to an increasing number of galleries and project spaces – but the city still has lots of space for inexpensive artists’ ateliers.

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