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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Crazyfantasticpants article

The New York Times.

You must stop whatever you're doing and click over to The New York Times.  It has a crazyfantasticpants four-page article on Margaret Russell at the helm of Architectural Digest and a discussion of the state of shelter magazines today.

The highlights:

Next month's issue of AD features "work by Commune, a California design collective, and a feature about the home of Muriel Brandolini, a decorator known for her high-bohemian style, tucked in among more-sober offerings, like a traditional-looking Mississippi house by Richard Keith Langham."

Interior designer Robert Courier says of AD,"It had been turning into a really nasty magazine in the last 10 to 15 years."

"Mr. Hanrahan [a media consultant and publisher of CircMatters, an industry newsletter] described Dwell as even more troubled. Citing circulation figures that many media buyers view as questionable — numbers padded by giveaways — he included it in his “Troubled Ten,” a list of magazines on shaky ground."

"An inventory of [Architectural Digest] articles, about four years’ worth, may or may not find its way into the magazine."

Newsstand sales for the top four shelter mags (first 6 months of 2010, percentage change from 2007):
Architectural Digest - down 27%
Elle Decor - down 6%
Verandah - down 37%
House Beautiful - up 41% (Mazel Tov, Newell Turner!)


Alcira Molina-Ali said...

The state of shelter mags in this country is pretty dismal right now.
That said, I flipped through the March issue of AD today and was stunned to find that it was pretty cool and at least featured a variety of non-matchy-matchy homes, each with some eccentricity, layering and a modicum of chutzpah.
However, it's been months since I last opened a shelter pub with trembling hands and a pitter-pattering heart.

Sketch42 said...

i was just reading this article and tweeting little tidbits of it!

I am excited to see what margarette brings to AD. I dont subscribe, so I need to go pick that baby up.

Karena said...

I need to check the latest AD before commenting, you can see where the mags are standing though with their #"s!

Art by Karena

My Interior Life said...

Interesting. I'm off to read the NYT article now. Speaking of AD, I just did a post about some ADs I found at an estate sale from the 80's (I guess before it had turned into a really nasty magazine). The more things change . . .

Kathy said...

AD turned me off years I stopped buying...When a mag has no soul, it's not long before "its" demise...I will give MR's version a chance...k

alison@MyLittleHappyPlace said...

Ms. Noland once told a reporter, “People are much too concerned with having good taste. I mean, it’s not a character flaw if you don’t have good taste.”

I beg to differ, Ms. Noland.

It all remains to be seen...

The Zhush said...

Read this last night, she sounds so cool...between the pb and j and the surgical boot that doesn't seem to slow her down one bit! Actually very excited for AD, will need to buy the March issue!

Topaz said...

The "four year's worth of inventory" is what got me. Many of those older projects are probably no longer in existence or have been updated. Of course, it always seemed that you'd see a home in the old AD and then the next month it would be listed for sale, like Paige ran a fancy "For Sale" ad for the owners.

Ashley said...

Four years of backlogged articles? Doesn't that say something about AD's static content? God help me if I was inspired by the same things four years ago...or four years from now. I've never contemplated AD for inspiration, but I might be turning over a new leaf...

Modern Country Lady said...

She looks and sounds like one tough cookie- the Anna Wintour of the Interior Decorating magazine world, so maybe she can make Architectural Digest work....I always found it soo boring..
plus with emags like Rue and Lonny , do we really need another magazine brought back to life from the dead ??

The Down East Dilettante said...

Shout out to Topaz---the thing that makes Paige Rense's publishing so many houses that became for sale the next month---and hardly an issue didn't feature one or two---is that she once did a huffy editorial about someone who tried to use getting their house published in her pages as taking advantage, and that she and AD wouldn't stand for it. Say what??

dwr said...

TDED is right. Mostly the houses are "important" and tired. Way too many houses here were able to be billed as "in Architectural Digest." I was given a subscription in my teens, and thought---really? this is design? 20 years ago it was beige squared.

I picked up this months issue. Maggie's first, right? It's better. It's not worth subscribing too, in my opinion. I'll check back.

Naomi@DesignManifest said...

commune and brandolini? Thank the boho heavens. I just started subscribing and I thought the January issue sucked and I was worried I waster my money. Was she not fully in charge yet? Awesome... looking forward to good upcoming issues.

erin@designcrisis said...

Ditto Naomi. I tossed the January issue in the trash (sorry, Margaret -- you're still hot), but now I have high hope for the next issue.

Bring it!

Or deliver it, rather.