Typically, when you fly, there’s 2 things you do. One is sleep the whole way through, which is for not me at all. Tiny, uncomfortable space and all that. It is economy after all. Everytime I’ve tried to sleep, I ended up with a headache. So I’ve given up and just opt for the 2nd choice, which is to actually use the in-flight entertainment system.

I flip through the Qantas magazine and there’s a mish-mash of offerings. I was trying to decide between Blades of Glory and going back to option 1 until, thank god, I caught this program tucked away in the business section.

Counter Culture is hosted by the rather suave Tyler Brûlé, Wallpaper* founder. The show isn’t about going against the grain but rather, about retail counters instead. Tyler jets around the world, starting in Russia, then Sweden, Italy, Libya, the US and finally Japan just shopping and talking about it. Lucky bugger.

He charts the spread of globalization and gets to interview people like Miuccia Prada and Sebastien Bergne, asking them what they thought of retail culture in their city. From the “new money” of unshackled Muscovites to the retail obssesed Japanese, its a good look into retail today which raises questions about tomorrow.

The show was made for the Beeb in 2006 and is expectedly, remarkably well shot. The one exception I had to it was when the camera cuts to Tyler during an interview and the dude just has to strike a sudden pose or raise an eyebrow. Quite dramatic.

Good for any one of the following. a.)Retail execs. b.)Retail addicts. c.)Guys looking for fashion tips. d.)People interested in Tyler. e.)Bored air travellers.

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