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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Architectural Digest editor Margaret Russell booted for head of Teen Vogue



Today, Margaret Russell, editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest, was shown the door. Condé Nast artistic director, editor of Vogue, and rumored gorgon Anna Wintour pink-slipped the well-respected industry veteran replacing her with Teen Vogue's Amy Astley.

Wintour was believed to be displeased with Russell's lack of digital savvy. Teen Vogue has upped its digital traffic 50 percent in the last year. The Vogue editrix was reportedly also unhappy with the way in which the AD March cover featuring Lesser Kardashians was styled.

This is the world we live in.

Anna Wintour replaces editor at Architectural Digest [The New York Post]

15 comments:

Alexandra Rae said...

OMG! I am gobsmacked. I love Margaret Russell. I have been a fan for more years than I can believe. I've only met her a couple of times, but she was as cool in person as she is on paper. She's hugely talented. Deeply honest (even about her personal life!) and was such a force in the interior design world. Not to mention all she's done for AIDS and historical preservation. I personally think she saved AD. Must dig deeper. But thank you for the breaking news. I'm sure we'll hear a lot about it from the lady herself.

Coulda shoulda woulda said...

Yay BC you posted! :)

Am ambivalent about this news though BC I can't see how she steered the magazine in any particular direction. Anna has the cheek to comment on a Kardashian cover after she lowered the tone herself!!! Also isn't it a big of a questionable move to automatically hire an editor of teen vogue as that demographic is only about digital? I'd understand if an editor of good housekeeping had changed stats but teen vogue honestly doesn't say anything about the editor herself. I wish Russell well but maybe someone who isn't always having lunches with the same few designers and featuring them all the time might bring some new blood to the magazine?

DaniBP said...

I just don't get it, at all. How does someone go to AD from Teen Vogue. This is not computing in my brain. Okay that Kardashian cover was pretty bad though, but it was their house wasn't it, how could the styling have been improved much. I mean did you see those cookie jars in the kitchen of one of those houses? XOX

Raina Cox said...

Coulda shoulda woulda - I agree with your observation about it being a showcase for the same handful of designers, though I'm not sure what Conde Nast envisions AD to be. It's always stood for the too done, yet usually staid interior expressions of the very wealthy.

Wintour defended her selection by saying Astley worked for House & Garden (RIP) for five years as "the de facto personal interior stylist for Alexander Liberman." So interning over a decade ago is Astley's interiors bona fides?

Raina Cox said...

DaniBP - I literally ran that issue from my mailbox to my recycling bin without cracking the cover. Okay, maybe not "ran," but I walked at a determined pace.

Kathy said...

Agreed on the K issue.....walked it, while flipping through, straight to the recycle bin. No K's in my home. I wonder how MLBullard is taking the news? He references that job on twitter quite often.
The good news is...you've posted! Hurray (you're reading with an eye roll)
I have not had the desire to post in 11 months...but getting there. Tons of ideas, but no will...
Have a lovely weekend, and thanks for the news......Fondly, k

Jill Valeri said...

Ugh. Margaret Russell has interior design chops and a level of sophistication that I just don't think we'll get from Teen Vogue. I agree with some of the criticism about the variety of designers but the quality was always high.

The comment about the appeal of digital being different for the two publications is spot on. I do not use digital media the same way my 15 year-old daughter does. Amy Astley has done some impressive work in that area for Teen Vogue but I don't think you can expect the same digital adoption from AD readers.

My fear is a version of AD with more celebrities (a la Kardashian) with spaces that are less sophisticated, not as well designed and not as inspiring. My hope is that we might see some lesser-known talented designers doing some interesting and high-quality work.

We shall see...

Linda {Calling it Home} said...

This is really interesting to me. On the one hand, I have thought that AD has lost its edge...but the Kardashian's was exactly the wrong direction. Now there will be more of that? Hmm, I wonder what Justin Bieber's home looks like (said no one over 21, ever!). I will be watching.

Liza said...

Your writing is the best! You never fail to crack me up! -Liza (formerly Postcards from CO - haven't blogged in holy sh^@#t 3 yrs!! where does the time go?)

David said...

In a cage match between Anna Wintour and Margaret Russell I'm betting big on Margaret.

home before dark said...

I had high hopes for Russell at AD, but in the end did not renew. Saw the K cups smeared on the cover and sighed.Still miss H&G. Doubt the the young thing can do anything worth reading. Can this change up mean the Great One has finally gone off the rails? Would love to see Anna get the Anna treatment.

Jeannine | The Small and Chic Home said...

I agree with Home Before Dark. I was rooting for AD to become interesting with Margaret at the helm, but it just never happened. I can't imagine what will happen now with someone even more inexperienced will be in charge.

Heidi said...

I have to say I'm not sad to see Margaret go - I haven't enjoyed AD at all, and it's only been getting worse. They pull out one good issue every 5, which keeps me hooked in... just... but all the celebrity and over the top tacky and same old designers do not give me much inspiration.
As for hiring in from Teen Vogue because of the digital penetration... hmm. Don't think this one is going to work. Totally different market. And a background in finance doesn't say a lot about a feel for design mags.

jtc said...

The devil wears Forever 21

Tim said...

No magazine is perfect, and all US publications seem, to Europeans, obsessed with 'celebrity', but Margaret Russell brought a freshness and sense of variety to AD that made it relevant again after years of beige. Where World of Interiors has become weird and repetitive, of late AD has trod an interesting line between commercial and inspiring, with a good mix of idioms in every issue. Digital is not relevant to everyone, and to promote an editor from a teen publication on the basis of their digital savvy is a transparent excuse. The fashion classes are in awe of Anna Wintour, but I've seen her reveal her nastier side for 40 years, so we should not be surprised by this 'sacking'. My sympathies to Ms Russell, she deserves respect for her achievements, and I wait for the moment Ms Astley pushes Anna off her throne, it can't be long now. 'All about Eve'?