THE FASTER WAY / Tyler Burnt
Hello, Guten Morgen, Hello. We start this last Sunday in November with some essential housework. First of all, last week’s contest. By now you’ve probably read or heard that my travels have taken me to Seoul (more on that a little further down the page) and I’m happy to report that we’ve sent the smart guys seven signed books (sorry ladies) who managed to be the first to guess that this was the South Korean capital where my Finnair plane landed. Additionally, we’ve taken into account the feedback from the Americas about our rigged competition for the Apac region, so next time (next week) we’ll take all the correct answers and then do a draw.
The second part of the business is Santa Claus, reindeer, and top retail. It was so good to see so many readers and listeners in our London Christmas market yesterday, especially after a two year hiatus. The full crew of the Monocle is back in London today before packing up and heading to ZÃ¼rich next weekend. If you’re around Marylebone, drop by and we’ll sign books, serve raclette, and happily enjoy a cup of GlÃ¼hwein or two.
And point three this morning concerns the return of a much missed title from our editorial program. Right now, a series of files are being downloaded by our printers in Constance, and by the middle of the week, Monocle’s winter newspaper will be off the presses. If you’d like a copy, you can order one from The Monocle Shop later in the week, and you can find it in newsstands at major Alpine resorts and in Monocle stores around the world. Now, direction Seoul.
For almost a week, I have been giving mini slideshows to friends and colleagues who want to see what is happening on the other side of the world. If you manage to get through one of our Christmas markets, I will be more than happy to give you a special visit. In the meantime, here are some headlines from my 72 Hours in Seoul.
1. The Hyundai
The South Korean group’s latest department store is a must visit for anyone interested in where the retail world could go. The overall experience is so crisp and smart it’s a master class in branding, interior design, smart merchandising, and exceptional service, all under one massive roof.
This cozy little Itaewon institution offers home-made South Korean classics, all inspired by recipes from the owner’s mother. The crowd is a nice mix of awesome locals and foreign adventurers.
Hyundai’s new compact addition to its lineup has all the right angles and cute styling it needs to become a cult design classic. I saw an olive green model in front of the Motorstudio company in Gangnam and was tempted to cram it into my tote bag. It’s not quite that small but close. In case you want to put one under the tree, at the moment they are only available in the South Korean market.
4. Arthur & Grace
Looking for a new briefcase or a leather golf bag or an easy Boston bag for the weekends? Arthur & Grace is a Seoul-based bag brand that looks exactly the right way to become a true luxury export. You will see much more in the pages of Konfekt and Monocle on the next issues.
5. LG Signature OLED R
You’ll know I’m not the most advanced editor of Monocle, and rarely get too excited about gadgets (I often write this review on a Blackberry), but LG’s roll-up TV is definitely something to see – partly because it disappears so delicately. For all of us who can’t stand the sight of a living room or hotel bedroom dominated by a towering flat screen, this nifty invention is a savior for interiors around the world. While not exactly cheap, it deserves a Nobel-style award for bringing some dignity back to well-designed interiors.