I was somewhere between Boston and Paris when I spotted this massive display at one of the airport vendors of a magazine I’d never seen before. I was stunned to find out that this very wonderful British import had been hiding under my nose all these years. I scooped up a copy, popped it into my bag, and made my way to the departure gate. And as I crossed the Atlantic ocean, I discovered just how excellent Monocle Magazine was.
To classify Monocle as a niche magazine would be impossible. Here are some of the topics they cover:
* Global Current Affairs
* Architecture and Design
* Culture and Media
* Fashion for Men and Women
And just about everything else in between.
But it’s not in that pretentious, snotty, overtly fabulous way that Vanity Fair does it. Where VF may have been the popular one in boarding school, Monocle strikes me as the city kid wearing thick-rimmed glasses, talking about Murakami novels and the Chechnian crisis. Somewhat more my speed…
In the April issue, there’s an article on tourism in Iceland. Another on budget cuts in the realm of TV news reporting. Then they review Roman Polanski’s movie The Ghost and the new Jonsi album. There’s even an article about Monocle’s 25 favorite retailers around the globe and a fashion spread about what the look currently is in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
So, I’m officially a fan. I’ve bought the May issue, read it cover to cover, and I’m waiting for the June issue to come out now. On US soil, Monocle retails for $10, publishes 10 times annually, and runs in at about 175 pages per issue. Plus, with a paid subscription, you can access the magazine’s full archive online.
Pretty. Darn. Cool.