Architectural Digest editor-in-chief Margaret Russell hosted a luncheon in the Condé Nast executive dining room for a preview of the March issue, aptly titled The Age of Elegance. The highly-anticipated issue is the first to showcase the magazine’s new editorial direction.
The intimate luncheon, attended by design bloggers and press, began with an introduction by AD’s Publisher and Vice President Giulio Capua, who explained that in the greater context of what’s going on in the print publishing business, Condé Nast as a whole and AD in particular is at a very critical time. “We’re embracing the opportunities that will occur for all print magazines, which is how you look at your primary business, keep it viable and healthy, but think about really not publishing a magazine. We’re really not publishers and editors. Margaret and I are brand stewards so we really want to think about how do we serve up content to our consumers and business partners in any way that they want to consume it,” said Capua.
Capua introduced Russell, who welcomed the group to Condé Nast. “It’s very funny for me to say 'Welcome to Condé Nast' because I started here when I was 22 years old,” she said.
She explained the history of the magazine, and the changes that she and her team are bringing to it: “We’ve added to the front of book features, freshened the typography and clarified navigation of the departments. We’re producing new content for the website, which will also soon have a fresh new look, as well as creating archive slideshows,” she said.
The magazine's photography is one significant change she pointed out. A Manhattan project by Michael Smith shows a photograph of a bedroom that had been digitally created from three photographs to show a realistic perspective. "It's how you would see the room in person, but we've never been able to do this kind of technology until now," she said.
Russell also said to expect the launch of AD China, as well as new sections including AD Motoring and AD Celebrates, which will showcase parties and events.
"Evolution, not revolution is what we keep saying," Russell explained. "Preserving, respecting and celebrating the brand's DNA. At its essence, Architectural Digest is still a dream book to us. It's about the dream of living well."