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Why the Ritzy Monocle Magazine Chose Dallas for its First U.S. Conference

Exploring why the fancy lifestyle and global affairs magazine chose North Texas over Miami.
| |Images Courtesy The National and Monocle
National Pride:Tyler Brûlé will bring big ideas and his Canadian accent to Thompson Dallas.

A fancy lifestyle and global affairs magazine, Monocle was founded in 2007 by a diacritically adventuresome Canadian named Tyler Brûlé, with editorial operations based in Zurich and London. Think of it as The Economist meets Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern meets GQ. There are Monocle Shops in cities such as Merano and Hong Kong (but not Dallas), where discerning men can purchase a pair of hiking shorts for 420 euros. And the brand hosts an annual two-day “summit” called The Chiefs, described as a “unique global gathering for the sharpest minds in business … to share practical advice on how to steer companies.” The Chiefs was last held in St. Moritz; tonight and tomorrow, it comes to downtown Dallas. 

Our first thought: those must be some sweet hiking shorts. Quickly followed by: Dallas ain’t exactly St. Moritz. Brûlé will co-host the gig with his editor-in-chief, Andrew Tuck. We got him on the phone to explain how he chose our humble town. 


“I’ve been to Dallas a couple of times in the last few years,” he said from Lisbon. “I did a tour in March. This is the remarkable thing: we’ve never done an event in the United States. So we’ve been looking, and I was in Miami, and then I was in Dallas, and then I was in Los Angeles, as well. I was just intrigued by the march of businesses relocating there. I liked the energy. And then I think there was something refreshing—maybe it’s because I came from my homeland of Canada, which was still in a very, very strange COVID place—but it was just refreshing coming to Dallas, where everything was relaxed, and it felt pragmatic, and it felt that people could make their own decisions about what they wanted to do rather than being nannied. And then on top of that, just being very blunt and commercial—you’re in a publishing business as well—it’s a little bit of Dallas chose us, too. It’s nice to be asked.”

Tyler Brûlé
Tyler Brûlé

He was referring to Shawn Todd, developer of The National, which houses the Thompson Dallas hotel, where the unnannied chiefs will lay their heads at night. We asked Brûlé in mid-September how ticket sales were going. He declined to offer specifics but did say, “I’m predicting there will be a large contingent from Des Moines because we had our conference in Paris in June. I was amazed how many people for the insurance industry from Des Moines showed up.”

We in Dallas say: bring on the Des Moinesians. Des Moiners? 

This story originally appeared in the November issue of D Magazine with the headline, “Visitors Euro.” Write to [email protected].


Tim Rogers

Tim Rogers

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Tim is the editor of D Magazine, where he has worked since 2001. He won a National Magazine Award in…