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Monocle (brand)

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Cover of the first issue of Monocle magazine (March 2007)
Editor in Chief & ChairmanTyler Brûlé
Magazine editorAndrew Tuck
CategoriesCulture, international affairs, design, fashion, travel, business
Frequency10 issues a year, plus The Forecast, The Escapist and The Drinking and Dining Directory
PublisherAnders Braso
Total circulation
(01 Jul 2015 - 31 Dec 2016)
80,251 (ABC total)[1]
Founded15 February 2007; 17 years ago (2007-02-15), London
First issue15 February 2007; 17 years ago (2007-02-15), London
CompanyWinkreative Ltd
Based inLondon, UK, with offices in Tokyo, Toronto, Hong Kong and Zurich

Monocle is a global affairs and lifestyle magazine, 24-hour radio station, website, retailer and media brand, produced by Winkreative Ltd. It was founded by Tyler Brûlé, a Canadian entrepreneur, Financial Times columnist, and founder of Wallpaper* magazine.[2][3]

The magazine was founded in London. In September 2014, Brûlé sold a minority stake in Monocle magazine to Japanese publisher Nikkei Inc. The deal valued Monocle at about U.S. $115 million, although the size of Nikkei's investment was undisclosed.[4] In December 2014, Monocle launched a new annual publication called The Forecast, intended to fill the gap between the Dec./Jan. and February issues of Monocle.[5] The Escapist, a travel-minded annual magazine, was introduced in July 2015 and focuses on in-depth reportage of 10 cities around the world.


Along with a small group of private investors, Brûlé created and financed Monocle, a 10-times-a-year print magazine, in 2007. The first published based in London on 15 February 2007.[6] The magazine, all in English with no regional editions, addressed a mobile global audience. Hamilton Nolan, journalist for Gawker, described it as "a lifestyle magazine for young, stylish, business-oriented jet setters who receive free subscriptions".[7] It had also previously been described on Gawker as a "travel-culture magazine" and a repository of "lifestyle sensuality and gaywad uptightness".[8][9]

In June 2010, Monocle launched a summer newspaper, Monocle Mediterraneo.[10] The newspaper directly opposed the iPad trend, with Brûlé declaring you cannot read an iPad on the beach.[11] In December 2010 Monocle launched a winter newspaper, Monocle Alpino.[12] The magazine believes in print media, and has neither a Facebook nor a Twitter account. Both newspapers were discontinued as of December 2014 and replaced by The Forecast and The Escapist magazines.

As well as regular advertisements, Monocle runs advertorials. In the September 2009 issue, for example, there was a large insert on Singapore, with a survey paid for by the government of Singapore and several large companies there, with articles generated by the magazine staff in the style of the magazine.[13]


Monocle's website contains magazine archive content only available to paid subscribers, and 3 free-to-read articles per issue. It also contains over 500 films, slideshows and documentaries that are available to the public. The film content is also available on iTunes and YouTube.

The website sells products designed by the magazine's in-house team, as well as products developed in collaboration with brands including Comme des Garçons, Loopwheeler, A Kind of Guise, Private White V.C. and Porter. These are also sold in Monocle shops in London, Hong Kong, Toronto, Tokyo, Singapore and New York, as well as a series of seasonal pop-up stores.[14]

Monocle's internet radio station, Monocle 24 can also be accessed from the website and an iOS app. Listeners can tune in live or browse the archive of all the station's speech-based shows.

Initially launched alongside the magazine in 2007, the website was redesigned in November 2012. In 2013, the relaunched website picked up several awards at The Lovie Awards including a Gold award for Best Writing- Editorial, Silver for Lifestyle and Bronze for Best Practices.[15]


Monocle opened its London shop in November 2008, followed by shops in, Hong Kong, Toronto, Tokyo, Singapore, New York, Culver City (in Los Angeles County) and Meran. Monocle also operates seasonal pop-up stores.[14] The Monocle stores vend accessories and apparel items that are relevant to travelers,[16] including collaborations with niche brands.[17]


Monocle Radio is an internet radio station, broadcasting from Monocle's headquarters at Midori House in London. On weekdays, the station produces three live, current affairs-based programs. It also broadcasts weekly shows on business; culture; design; food and hospitality; print media, urbanism and more. Music hours, short-format shows and reports fill the rest of the schedule, hosted by Monocle staff. Monocle 24 was launched in October 2011 and broadcasts in English, primarily from London, but with an international focus. Around 80% of listening is via download, 20% via live streaming. Monocle 24 has broadcast more than 60 different programs and podcasts since it was founded and produces all its content in-house. With more than 30 premieres every week, Monocle 24 produces more shows and podcasts than any other independent media brand.

The Monocle Weekly

Monocle 24 itself grew out of The Monocle Weekly, a podcast which first appeared on 28 December 2008. Hosted by Andrew Tuck and Robert Bound, it covers topics such as politics, business and culture and features interviews with big names across several disciplines, and eventually hit download figures as high as 250,000 per month. The Monocle Weekly became a one-hour weekend show on the station and is still available as a podcast.

Station history

Monocle 24 launched on 17 October 2011 with four live shows on weekdays: The Globalist, The Briefing, Midori House and The Monocle Daily, as well as several extra shows over the weekend. Surrounding those shows were music hours known as The Continental Shift and The Atlantic Shift, as well as hour-long themed shows Culture with Robert Bound, Section D, The Entrepreneurs, The Urbanist and The Menu. The station was branded by bespoke music idents, including a number featuring the voice of pop star Kylie Minogue and the Quiet Nights Orchestra. The running time of The Briefing, Midori House, Culture, Section D, The Entrepreneurs, The Urbanist and The Menu was cut from 50 to 30 minutes starting on 2 March 2015. At the same time, new programs, such as The Big Interview and The Monocle Arts Review were added to the schedule. Top-of-the-hour newscasts were also removed from the schedule.

The station is influenced by the BBC World Service. Tyler Brûlé said "From the point of view its ambitions for global reach and coverage of world affairs, Monocle 24 will probably resemble and sound like many commonwealth public service broadcasters, including BBC World Service, as well as shades of Australia's ABC and Canada’s CBC. We are hoping to create a station which follows the tradition of the great Commonwealth broadcasters. It’s no surprise that we have drawn a lot of great people from the BBC World Service."

Changes to the schedule since its launch have included the introduction in August 2012 of The Stack, a 25-minute-long show on magazines and print media hosted by Tyler Brûlé on Saturday mornings. In April 2013, The Globalist was split into The Globalist and The Globalist Asia, with the latter focusing more on listeners in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The Globalist Asia was last broadcast on 27 December 2013.

Saturday and Sunday feature the Weekend Edition, a mix of news, interviews, music and highlights.

Portions of Monocle 24 programs were previously broadcast on ABC Radio National in Australia. Other Monocle 24 output is also broadcast by CBC Radio One in Canada as part of CBC Radio Overnight.

Monocle 24 also broadcasts from political, business and cultural events.

The station is live 24 hours a day at monocle.com/radio and records more than 1 million listens to its programming every month through the Monocle website and across all internet radio and podcast platforms.

Programme schedule

Monocle 24 has broadcast more than 60 different programmes and podcasts since its launch.

The current roster includes long-running, weekday news shows;

  • The Globalist
  • The Briefing
  • The Monocle Daily

Award-winning weekly international affairs shows;

  • The Foreign Desk
  • Monocle on Culture
  • Monocle on Design
  • The Entrepreneurs
  • The Urbanist
  • The Menu
  • The Stack
  • The Big Interview
  • The Chiefs with Tyler Brûlé
  • The Curator
  • Meet The Writers
  • The Bulletin with UBS.  

A number of the weekly magazine shows have companion strands like;

  • The Entrepreneur’s Eureka show
  • Tall Stories from The Urbanist team
  • Monocle On Design Extra
  • The Foreign Desk Explainer.

Monocle 24 also produces and broadcasts Konfekt Korner, the monthly podcast from sister title Konfekt magazine hosted by Konfekt Editor Sophie Grove.

Past programmes and content

Monocle 24 has broadcast more than 60 different programmes and podcasts since its launch. From 17 October 2011 to 2 March 2015, the station broadcast its own newscasts at the top of the hour between 6 am and 11 pm London time. Tomasz Schafernaker provided recorded weather forecasts for the station, but they were quickly dropped. Aperitivo (16 Sept 2013 - 15 November 2013) was a short-lived news-based talk programme, trailed as a "relaxed blend of conversation and analysis." The Globalist, a show on international news and political issues, was originally two hours long. It was later split in two, the second hour becoming The Globalist Asia, which was last broadcast on 27 December 2013. The Review was a weekend show which featured stories about books, movies and theatre. From launch to 2 March 2015, the station broadcast ABC Radio news bulletins between midnight and 5 am London time.


Current sponsors of Monocle 24 programmes include UBS, Novartis and Allianz.

Previous sponsors and brands that Monocle 24 has worked with to create original audio content include Air Canada, ANZ, Audi, Blackberry, BMW, Breitling, Chanel, Conrad, Diageo, Dubai, GE, The Glenlivet, Grundig, HP, Hyundai, Japan Cabinet Office, J Crew, Kaspersky, Korean Air, Krug, Kuoni, Leuchtturm, Lexus, Lombard Odier, Longines, Lufthansa, Marriott, Moncler, Mubi, Nike, Pictet, Rimowa, Rolex, Samsung, Shinola, Squarespace, Südtirol, Tag Heuer, Thailand, Tiffany, Turkish Airlines and Zurich Tourism.

Tag Heuer was the station's "digital timekeeper" from 11 October 2015 to summer 2016. Previously, Rolex had a similar role, with ads running at the top of the hour.


Some of the most frequently heard voices on Monocle 24 are those of magazine staff, such as Tyler Brûlé, Andrew Tuck and Robert Bound. However, there are also regular radio staff, such as Tom Edwards, Markus Hippi and Daniel Bach, whose voices can be heard across many shows. Other presenters include Georgina Godwin, Emma Nelson, Vincent McAviney and Monocle Contributing Editor Andrew Mueller.

There are also regular contributions from Monocle staff and guests at the organization's bureaux in New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Toronto and the other editorial hub in Zürich.


In 2013, Monocle published their first book in collaboration with Berlin publisher Gestalten. The Monocle Guide to Better Living has since been joined by The Monocle Guide to Good Business, The Monocle Guide to Cosy Homes, How to Make a Nation: A Monocle Guide, and The Monocle Guide to Drinking and Dining. They also have a series of travel guides with Gestalten, covering cities including Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Madrid, New York, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo.[18]

Other media[edit]

Six episodes of a Monocle TV show were broadcast internationally on Bloomberg in early 2011.[19]


In April 2013, Monocle opened the Monocle Café at 18 Chiltern Street, Marylebone London W1. Its interior was designed by the magazine's senior designer Yoshi Takagi and built by EDO Construction.[20] The café sells Allpress coffee and a library of Monocle magazines and books. The company also had a café in Tokyo in the Hankyu Men's department store with furniture made by Maruni.

In October 2015, Monocle opened Kioskafé - a magazine shop and coffee bar. Modelled on European city kiosks, it sold over 150 magazines ranging from art, design, fashion, culture and more. Situated close to London Paddington station, the space was opened as a place devoted to great independent magazines with the number of independent newsagents in decline, [21] however it closed down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2018, Monocle opened a Café with shop and men's fashion outlet in Seefeld, Zurich.[22]

Monocle surveys[edit]

Monocle's annual Quality of Life issue ranks the top 25 most livable cities in the world.[23] In 2016, Tokyo was declared the winning city.[24] In 2015, Monocle launched its first Quality of Life conference in Lisbon; the conference was held in Vienna in April 2016. The Quality of Life Conference aims to bring together leading voices from the worlds of design, urbanism and culture over three days,[25] and the host city changes annually.

Since 2010, Monocle has also published an annual Soft Power survey ranking countries according to their ability to promote themselves in the world via culture, diplomacy and trade. In 2016, the US was the winner.[26]


In 2011, Monocle was awarded one of the top ten titles of the year by AdAge USA's 'A List',[27] and Brûlé was named Editor of the Year.[28] In 2015, it won a D&AD Wood Pencil award for its publication, The Forecast.[29]


In 2018, Amalia Illgner wrote an article for The Guardian about her experience working for Monocle in London where she claimed "Monocle interns are paid £30" per day.[30] An employment tribunal resulted in admission of liability from Monocle and subsequent settlement.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Monocle" (PDF). ABC. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  2. ^ Allen, Nick (9 June 2008). "Copenhagen named worlds best city for quality of life by Monocle magazine". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  3. ^ Bell, Matthew (1 August 2010). "Monocle: 'It's the media project that I've always wanted to do'". The Independent. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  4. ^ Mance, Henry (September 2014). "Tyler Brûlé's Monocle magazine valued at $115m". Financial Times. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  5. ^ "Kazakhstan the Country to Watch in 2015: Monocle's Tuck". Bloomberg. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  6. ^ "20 independent magazines that every creative should have on their coffee table". Creative Boom. 9 November 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  7. ^ Hamilton Nolan (24 July 2008). "Lifestyle Magazine Is Ashamed Of Itself". Gawker.com. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
  8. ^ Choire Sicha (6 June 2007). "Our Dream Magazine". Gawker.com. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
  9. ^ Doree Shafrir (1 May 2007). "'Monocle' Sells Chic Two-Wheeling Lifestyle". Gawker.com. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
  10. ^ "Monocle Mediterraneo". Magculture.com. 26 July 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  11. ^ Brule Says Monocle's Newspaper an 'Anti-IPad Device'. Bloomberg. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  12. ^ Levy, Katherine (30 November 2010). "Monocle launches winter paper Monocle Alpino". Mediaweek. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  13. ^ Carr, David (23 August 2009). "Monocle: A Magazine, an Attitude". New York Times. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  14. ^ a b Suqi, Rima (2 September 2010). "Monocle Magazine Opens Tiny Shop". New York Times. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  15. ^ Winners Gallery. "Lovie Awards". Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  16. ^ Bishop, Jordan. "The Five Best Menswear Shops In Hong Kong". Forbes. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  17. ^ "The Monocle Shop". Time Out Tokyo. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  18. ^ gestalten. "Monocle Titles". gestalten. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  19. ^ "Monocle on Bloomberg Debuts Tomorrow". The Magaziner. Archived from the original on 27 June 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  20. ^ EDO Construction (PDF) February 2013
  21. ^ Steven, Rachael (5 October 2015). "The Kioskafé: a new magazine shop and coffee bar from Monocle". Creative Review. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  22. ^ Iten, Jocelyne (18 May 2018). "«Monocle» eröffnet erstes Café in Zürich: Wie «Monocle»-Verleger Tyler Brûlé Zürich auffrischen will". NZZ Bellevue (in Swiss High German). Retrieved 16 July 2022.
  23. ^ "Are these the world's best cities?". CNN. 7 April 2010. Archived from the original on 29 January 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  24. ^ Hongo, Jun (11 June 2015). "Tokyo Tops Monocle's Most Livable City Ranking". Wall Street Journal.
  25. ^ "Monocle's 2016 Conference in Vienna to Debate "Quality of Life" and Urban Livability". ArchDaily. 8 April 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  26. ^ "Soft Power Survey 2016". Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  27. ^ Ives, Nat (5 October 2011). "Magazine A-List: Vogue Is Ad Age's 2011 Magazine of the Year". Advertising Age. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  28. ^ Dumenco, Simon (10 October 2011). "Ad Age Magazine A-List: Tyler Brule Is Editor of the Year". Advertising Age. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  29. ^ "The Forecast | Monocle | Monocle | D&AD Awards 2015 Pencil Winner | Entire Magazines | D&AD". www.dandad.org. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  30. ^ "Why I'm suing over my dream internship". the Guardian. 27 March 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  31. ^ "Monocle Case". Good Law Project. Retrieved 13 May 2021.

External links[edit]