Stylish prose – Monocle magazine

In a recent interview for Desert Island Disc’s with BBC Radio 4’s Kirsty Young , comedic genius Tim Minchin said “I despise being pigeon holed”.  The idea that we can be catalogued and reduced to a level of robotic predictability is something I also find annoying: we’re human, fallible, flawed and surely that makes us hard to catalogue?

Monocle logo

Monocle logo

Well it turns out that marketing folk find me just as easy to categorise as the next ABC1 35 – 45 Caucasian male.  This was proved to me when I succumbed and bought a copy of Monocle magazine. Despite its high cover price (£6) the cover promotions echoed my interests. The following conspired to persuaded me to part with my cash

  1. Positioning – right by the newspapers in my local supermarket in my line of sight
  2. A 2 inch square image of Barcelona’s hire bikes
  3. Large promotional copy promising “the selection of frames and accessories to get you elegantly across town”
  4. A photo shoot on the Bosphorus ( I’ll explain in a moment)
  5. Sunny weather – for some reason it always seems to loosen my walet

Inside the magazine I’m transported (photographically) to the shiny world of the international jet setter. If you’re someone whose plans for the year include the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Milan Furniture Fair and the Cannes Film Festival then this is the magazine for you. Actually, readers prefer to call it a briefing dossier, not a magazine.

So what’s Monocle got to say to its readers about bikes? Well, not much unfortunately, just three ½ page sections talking about

  • Cycling in Barcelona
  • Mini bikes
  • A report from the North American handmade bike show

Monocle regulars should be made aware that not every bike in 2012 will be a single speed sporting white tyres, a leather saddle and a porteur rack. Since their readers probably get around by helicopter I doubt it matters much.

Ordinarily, I’d be feeling a bit short changed: there’s probably more cycling content in the week’s Grazia and arguably more style. In this instance though, it doesn’t matter as this was a purchase from the heart not the head. Their photo shoot on the Bosphorus was what swung it for me. I have fond memories the six months I spent in Istanbul. It doesn’t get the recognition it deserves as a city: where else can you can say “let’s go to Asia for dinner tonight”.


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