PROFILE - Tyler Brûlé - The Jet-Setting Businessman Saving Print
Tyler Brûlé is a journalist, publisher and businessman, known for founding the luxury magazine Monocle. In a time where everyone is going digital, Tyler is working hard to keep up the pace in the world of media and still modernize printed media all whilst travelling around the world to create a global tone of voice for his publications.
Brûlé is a war journalist-turned-editor. Back in the 90s, he was reporting on the war in Afghanistan for German news magazine Focus, when he was shot twice by a sniper. During his hospital stay, he read a lot of magazines, and thought they were all pretty mediocre. Though it was a low and obviously difficult time in Tyler’s life, it was the moment that transformed him and his career which resulted in the birth of his own magazine, Wallpaper - a magazine for fashion, style and art. Wallpaper soon became not only one of the biggest magazines of that time, but also a kind of like a Bible to people working in creative industries. After just one year, he sold it for an unbelievable £1million to Time Inc. He stayed on as an editorial director until 2002, to focus on his new creative agency, which is still runs today, Winkreative.
During his time at Wallpaper, he also became the youngest ever recipient of the British Society of Magazine Editor’s Lifetime Achievement Award at just 21 years old. In the first few years of his career, Tyler Brûlé already sealed his innovative side with ground-breaking concepts that he created. He is a proven example of dreaming big at young ages. 2007 marked the launch of his biggest publication of them all, Monocle, an international luxury magazine aiming to be so by employing team members of different nationalities to make its tone of voice relevant and more importantly, relatable. Brûlé’s goal was to merge several voices into one – a point that we can all take to the office with us to inspire one another but also to create more equality in the boardroom.
Unlike his competitors, Tyler Brûlé has gone against the book and steered clear of the digital trend everybody has adopted. He has chosen reminding us physical experiences by publishing books, setting up stores related to Monocle and selling travel products designed in his studio or from partnerships with fellow brands such as Comme des Garçons. This was a huge risk to take in a society where you read magazines on iPhone, and newsagents are becoming less and less visited. However, Tyler’s strategy seems to work – he brings Monocle to people through real life connections like the Monocle Café located in London and Tokyo.
People are intrigued by Tyler's views because he is going against the tide of digitalization. With his team, the people behind Monocle create quality content in a fresh way for travelling business professionals who read it on the go. Instead of creating pushy social media campaigns, he opts out connecting with people through social media channels. Of course going against the crowd also means skepticism and condescendence from competitors, who roll their eyes and claim his opinions are irrelevant. We’ve all seen the quote on Instagram, “The people who hate you are watching you closely” – and they can be patronizing all they want, but they’re still queuing up to read what he says, despite their criticisms.
The point is, no matter how much your opinion isn’t shared, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t voice it. As he told Post Magazine about moving schools as a child, “There was a realization that you had to be confident enough to speak your mind on day two even if everyone else had been in the class for 10 years”, an important lesson we all need to drum into ourselves, not just as women in the workplace, but as professionals as a whole, no matter the gender.
By Emma Philo - Editor at She Is Rebel