Tyler Brule is the publisher of high-fashion design magazine Wallpaper and of Monocle, that beacon of "lifestyle sensuality and gaywad uptightness" that could be viewed as either the world's most pretentious or (incorrectly) most inspiring magazine. It sure is something. Though not a lifestyle magazine.
The point is, Tyler Brule sure is a hero, to a certain kind of person! The NYT Style section today hails him as "Mr. Zeitgeist," asking "When was the last time a magazine editor inspired such adulation?"
Not counting the past decade of Anna Wintour and Chris Anderson and Jane Pratt and David Remnick and others, I can hardly think of a time, except for the preceding decades and the other popular magazine editors therein!
The important question here: is Tyler Brule actually cool? This is a Rorschach test.
1. Does obsessively cultivating a regular stubble length make a mockery of the very concept of stubble? Tyler Brule "keeps his perma-stubble artfully cropped like Tom Ford's."
2. Is purposeful elitism still cool in the Occupy Age? "While everyone hailed the iPad as the savior of print, Mr. Brûlé put out a limited-edition newspaper for the slopes of Gstaad and the beaches of Cannes."
3. Is Jann Wenner-style cleanliness-based obsessive-compulsive disorder cool? "Staff members do not drape coats haphazardly from the backs of chairs, but hang them in orderly fashion in a nearby closet. They do not eat at their desks, sprinkling keyboards with crumbs, but dine in groups in the office's sleek canteen."
4. Are "a West Coast snowboarder, a copy writer for a hot advertising firm in Stockholm or a grunge kid working in an indie record shop" actually cooler after they get rich? (Tyler Brule says yes!)
5. Tyler Brule runs a branding and advertising agency called "Winkreative." How do you feel about that?
6. Are airports the coolest place to live? "His inspiration came from (where else?) the airport terminal... he travels more than 250 days a year."
7. Is it cool to choose who to associate with by stereotyping them based upon their most obvious outward signifiers? "In public circumstances where you have to choose a seat, you can look at a person's shoes, you can look at their luggage, and oftentimes, it's interesting to see what they're reading as well. ‘Do I want to be near that person or not?'" (Says Tyler Brule.)
If you think that's cool, you should hang out with Tyler Brule. Definitely.