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Where Loves: Toronto’s New Monocle Shop

By EVA VOINIGESCU

Not content with taking over London, Tokyo and New York, Canadian-born media mogul Tyler Brûlé has finally brought his brand to Toronto with the opening of the Monocle Shop’s new Little Italy outpost.

The creative force behind Wallpaper* magazine (he left the publication in 2002), branding and advertising agency Winkreative, and the global affairs journal Monocle, Brûlé and his ventures are known equally for high-quality editorial and superior design sense. Monocle in particular has amassed a loyal following with its no-nonsense reporting aimed at jetsetters with a business mindset; it’s not surprising that the brand’s retail arm continues to expand.

The new store shares a space with the Toronto office of Winkreative. When I visited on a quiet weekday evening, the scent of Hinoki, Monocle’s first fragrance collaboration with Japanese fashion label Comme des Garçons, is in the air, and the brand’s internet radio station, Monocle 24, is playing quietly in the background.

Perusing the wares, it’s easy to see why comparisons to the Drake Hotel’s General Store have emerged. The Drake outlets, however, tend to be knickknack-oriented; the Monocle Shop is more meticulously curated, and features a large selection of collaborations between Monocle and artisans the likes of Porter and Delvaux (both resulted in stylish bags).

The store’s focus is indisputably on the Monocle brand itself, with back issues and stationery items on display, including the classic Monocle notebook. The store also carries clothing and accessories for the modern urbanite. And while the majority of items have a distinct masculine feel—take, for instance, the pocket squares designed by Drake’s of London—home decor items like mugs and throws are friendly for both sexes., The selection is sure to inspire ideas for the upcoming holiday gift-giving season, so don’t miss a chance to get your hands a piece of Monocle for that high-flying someone in your life.

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