The title, to be called Monocle and sold internationally starting in February, will emphasize visuals as much as reporting and writing, said Mr. Brule, who visited Milan last week to pitch luxury advertisers for the first time.
Fascinated by 'Der Spiegel'
"I used to work in Hamburg, the hub for Der Spiegel and Stern," he said. "I was always fascinated by those titles -- the depth of reporting, the quality, the sheer volume. I always wondered why, at least in the U.K., titles like those never evolved. And to a large degree, Newsweek and Time have always been quite thin titles.
"I always thought there something missing in the value proposition."
Mr. Brule started Wallpaper in 1996, when he was 27 years old, to deliver savvy urbanites design, style and lifestyle coverage, then sold it to Time Inc. just a year later for a reported $1.6 million. He later became a columnist for the Financial Times, where he started thinking about serving something stylish to that paper's more typical readers.
"It struck me that there was room to give people all over the world something which was more visual than what's on offer and more of a look ahead," he said. "Could there be an opportunity to do something which was much more luxurious in terms of production values, not necessarily just what was inside, and married the best of geopolitics and business?"
No free copies
To underscore the book's positioning, Monocle will not be available free to, say, rich readers or airline passengers. "Audi's not giving cars away," Mr. Brule said. "I don't think at the top of the newsstand that should happen either."
The magazine, which Mr. Brule hopes will reach sales of 200,000, will be variously priced at $10, 5 pounds or 7.50 euro. Although it will have a companion site at Monocle.com, Mr. Brule said he plans to take advantage of print's strengths by, for example, using four paper stocks.
"I was at the World Economic Forum in Davos last year listening to newspaper and magazine publishers talk about their problems," he said. "If you look at Asia and markets like South Korea and Japan, which are four or five years ahead of us in this digital revolution, their publishers' reaction has been 'Let's invest more in print.'"