Monocle (the magazine)

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Douglas, May 3, 2010.

  1. cromulated

    cromulated Senior member

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    Bourgeois bohemian ad copy. Every section is dedicated to hawking the latest overpriced consumer wares by disguising product placement as a real article complete with faux-retro illustrations reminiscent of Playboy in the 50s and strategically chosen buzzwords ("eco-friendly," "hand-made," etc.) targeting the desired demographic of left-leaning yuppies and dinks yearning for authenticity in their purchases. Easily half the magazine consists of 'collaborations' -- bearing the requisite 'Monocle x brandname' moniker -- between the editors and various corporations. Pretentious in the extreme, the magazine sells an image devoid of content. I bought two issues before realizing I was paying them to show me advertisements.


    lol wut?


    all of this is true, and segues neatly into the following: beingtylerbrule.com
     
  2. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    It's not so much that I object to them pandering to the bobo demographic, it's that I don't think they do it particularly well.
    I would disagree with that. I think they do it extremely well. They're almost the benchmark for that stuff.

    I actually admire their "collect store" concept much more than their editorial qualities. It seems to me that they do a very good job at selecting products that fit into the socio-demographic box they've drawn. I'm sure I would also enjoy their B&M store if there was one around me. In a word, Monocle is more of a J. Peterman catalog for a demographic I somehow identify with, than it is a good magazine.
     
  3. summej2

    summej2 Senior member

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    Some of their international coverage is interesting though. It's as though it's the human-interest section of Foreign Affairs.
     
  4. holymadness

    holymadness Senior member

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    I would disagree with that. I think they do it extremely well. They're almost the benchmark for that stuff. I actually admire their "collect store" concept much more than their editorial qualities. It seems to me that they do a very good job at selecting products that fit into the socio-demographic box they've drawn. I'm sure I would also enjoy their B&M store if there was one around me. In a word, Monocle is more of a J. Peterman catalog for a demographic I somehow identify with, than it is a good magazine.
    This. The rest is just filler meant to sell the item: "The modern, cosmopolitan urbanite sips his espresso at the corner cafÃ[​IMG] before buying a copy of Der Spiegel and tucking it into his Monocle x Filson office tote as he hops into one of Copenhagen's brand new trams to go to work." It's just name-dropping masturbation. The last issue I picked up had no fewer than 3 special sections 'inspired' by companies like Nokia and Samsung. When you can't tell the difference between the ad copy and the content, what's the difference? In my mind, that is not a successful magazine except in a purely commercial sense. It is a means of cajoling people with too much money and not enough good sense into idealizing a lifestyle that demands consumption for its own sake. The Monocle shop is particularly repugnant as it exclusively sells existing but rebranded items at a 200% markup, justifying the price increase by pointing to the wood-paneled walls and vaguely chic aura around the boutique. So yeah, if you don't mind paying $10 a month to buy a catalogue that shows off all the latest shiny shit, by all means do. But there's nothing especially redeeming about what Monocle does or produces. It's the Louis Vuitton of the publishing industry: all flash and no substance.
     
  5. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    I feel like posting an episode of Captain Cranky-Pants...
     
  6. shoreman1782

    shoreman1782 Senior member

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    The last issue I picked up had no fewer than 3 special sections 'inspired' by companies like Nokia and Samsung. When you can't tell the difference between the ad copy and the content, what's the difference?


    Uh, welcome to most magazines and newspapers. I don't think Monocle is any more egregious than others, although I agree the materialism is at least a little crass and at odds with the rest of their "benevelont citizen of the world" image. And I realize I'm posting on a consumer-driven forum on which I have over 5k posts.
     
  7. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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    Monocle is a magazine marketted at me so world-travelling bobo hype/design/art junkie. I hate these people!
     
  8. holymadness

    holymadness Senior member

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    Uh, welcome to most magazines and newspapers. I don't think Monocle is any more egregious than others, although I agree the materialism is at least a little crass and at odds with the rest of their "benevelont citizen of the world" image. And I realize I'm posting on a consumer-driven forum on which I have over 5k posts.

    I have no idea what magazines you read, but I have never seen anything as crass or as shameless as Monocle's brand whoring. Not even in garbage like Wallpaper*, and that's saying something.

    Good monthly periodicals should try to sell ideas, not products. Monocle's epic fail is that its products are marketed as ideas. But if you read between the lines just a little, unlike our friend mafoofan above, you can see that each article is only a superficial treatment of a complex topic that could be easily resolved if everyone were a little more hip, a little more European, and wearing a little more Muji.
     
  9. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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    This.

    The rest is just filler meant to sell the item: "The modern, cosmopolitan urbanite sips his espresso at the corner cafÃ[​IMG] before buying a copy of Der Spiegel and tucking it into his Monocle x Filson office tote as he hops into one of Copenhagen's brand new trams to go to work." It's just name-dropping masturbation.

    The last issue I picked up had no fewer than 3 special sections 'inspired' by companies like Nokia and Samsung. When you can't tell the difference between the ad copy and the content, what's the difference?

    In my mind, that is not a successful magazine except in a purely commercial sense. It is a means of cajoling people with too much money and not enough good sense into idealizing a lifestyle that demands consumption for its own sake. The Monocle shop is particularly repugnant as it exclusively sells existing but rebranded items at a 200% markup, justifying the price increase by pointing to the wood-paneled walls and vaguely chic aura around the boutique.

    So yeah, if you don't mind paying $10 a month to buy a catalogue that shows off all the latest shiny shit, by all means do. But there's nothing especially redeeming about what Monocle does or produces. It's the Louis Vuitton of the publishing industry: all flash and no substance.


    You don't know shit about Vuitton...
     
  10. tattersall

    tattersall Senior member

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    I like the magazine and buy it (but don't subscribe). The politics and current affairs are pretty light-weight and as others have said, proposed solutions always involve government intervention. In other words, don't cancel your Economist subscription...

    The design, style and culture sections I think are very good and fit the styleforum demographic (if there is such a thing) quite well. Heavy emphasis on things nordic or japanese. I like most of what is featured and have actually bought a number of things - quality is always high.

    It shouldn't surprise people that most of the advertizers, collaborators and even featured companies, cities, etc., in the magazine are clients of Brule's branding firm winkreative (http://www.winkreative.com/). Compare the client list on their website with any magazine issue and you'll get the picture pretty quickly.

    Oh, the Monocle Weekly podcasts are pretty good too.
     
  11. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    but I have never seen anything as crass or as shameless as Monocle's brand whoring. Not even in garbage like Wallpaper*, and that's saying something.

    Good monthly periodicals should try to sell ideas, not products.


    Maybe that is due to the fact that Tyler was the former owner of Wallpaper magazine before he sold it and started Monocle.

    Also, just try and sustain a magazine in todays world without "partnering" with advertisers. It is virtually impossible to do it.
     
  12. holymadness

    holymadness Senior member

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    You don't know shit about Vuitton...
    Sorry, didn't mean to butthurt any Marais hipsters. Feel free to substitute the analogy of your choice.
     
  13. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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    I have no idea what magazines you read, but I have never seen anything as crass or as shameless as Monocle's brand whoring. Not even in garbage like Wallpaper*, and that's saying something.

    Good monthly periodicals should try to sell ideas, not products. Monocle's epic fail is that its products are marketed as ideas. But if you read between the lines just a little, unlike our friend mafoofan above, you can see that each article is only a superficial treatment of a complex topic that could be easily resolved if everyone were a little more hip, a little more European, and wearing a little more Muji.


    Says who though? Monocle concept is hype consumption, you know authentic vacations, designer hotels, cool clothing. It's a bible that explains what to do, buy and talk about to build up your hype capital.
     
  14. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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    Sorry, didn't mean to butthurt any Marais hipsters. Feel free to substitute the analogy of your choice.

    I'm not a Marais hipster, just saying that behind the crap items and gaudy campaigns there is a venerable luggage company that is among the best in the world. I'll go tell all my friends at La Perle that you're a loser. :p
     
  15. holymadness

    holymadness Senior member

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    Maybe that is due to the fact that Tyler was the former owner of Wallpaper magazine before he sold it and started Monocle.
    I had no idea. [​IMG]
    I don't begrudge magazines the need to sell advertising space. But how useful would your copy of the Economist be if articles on financial reform in the US were an Economist x Goldman Sachs collaboration? There's be no point in reading any more.

    I only expect two things:

    1. Sincere attempts at profound or meaningful content
    2. Some measure of journalistic independence

    I don't think that's very tinfoil hatted of me.
     

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