Spurred by a conversation with an English colleague to whom wallpaper meant nothing more than ornamented paper on the walls of retirees, I got curious about what the founder and long-time editor of wallpaper* magazine, Tyler Brûlé, was up to nowadays. In 2002, Canadian-born Brûlé left the magazine he founded in 1996 after having recovered from gunshot wounds he sustained as a BBC journalist in Afganistan in 1994. He has since run the design agency Winkreative, been a columnist for the Financial Times, the New York Times, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, and more recently the International Herald Tribune, as well as hosted The Desk, a BBC Four show.
wallpaper*, the de-facto lifestyle bible of the second half of the 90’s, lost most of its appeal after Brûlé left in 2002 (together with a host of Scandinavian contributors). Coinciding with my moving to England I lamented the decline and mentally archived wallpaper* as part of my teenage years in Sweden. But Brûlé has now made a return in the role that made him the youngest ever winner of the British Society of Magazine Editors’ Lifetime Achievement Award – as founder and editor of Monocle.
Targeting well-healed, thinking professionals, Monocle mixes serious, intelligent journalism (freshwater shortages 2025) with stylish, intelligent journalism (the best places to call home). And does it well. While of the same soil as wallpaper*, Monocle is reminiscent also of The Economist in both attitude and content. The combination is brilliant. Thus, the subscription is paid and the back issues are ordered. Turns out they make them just as good as they used to.