This year marks a major milestone for five design publications: Traditional Home and Elle Décor are celebrating 25 years, CTC&G and Apartment Therapy are a decade old, and Editor at Large is five. Read on for memorable moments in each publication’s history and what the next five, 10 and 25 years will look like.
Traditional Home—25 years
Traditional Home has been celebrating the brand's 25th Silver Anniversary throughout every issue in 2014. The commemoration will culminate this fall with the October issue, which will be a tribute to a quarter-century of design innovation and the tastemakers responsible for it. On October 27, the magazine will host a Silver Anniversary Gala in New York City. The event will honor two design luminaries: Lifetime Achievement—Mario Buatta, and Trailblazer—Michael Bruno, as well as pay tribute to the 2014 Classic Woman Award honorees. Read on as the magazine’s Group Associate Publisher, Beth McDonough, shares a few highlights from the Traditional Home memory book.
What are some of the most memorable moments in Traditional Home history?
- Launching Traditional Home's first-ever Design Innovators Awards in 1992, which over the years has honored talents across the country including Barbara Berry, Michael Berman, Matthew Patrick Smyth, Charles Spada, Gary McBournie, Mary Douglas Drysdale, and many more
- Creating our first British Design Issue in 1996, which featured an exclusive with Prince Charles
- In 1998: Traditional Home started its long-standing Master Chef program, including Alice Waters, Emeril Lagasse, Lidia Bastianich, Larry Forgione
- In 2000, Traditional Home featured an exclusive with the First Lady: "At Home with Hillary”
- Also in 2000, working with Evelyn Lauder to collaborate on the creation of the Built for Women Showhouse in NYC to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, pairing designers and "divas"—from Mario Buatta for Barbara Walters to Barry Dixon for Diane Sawyer (plus Bette Midler, Tina Turner, Donna Karan…)
- In 2004, Traditional Home launched the Classic Woman Awards, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year
- In 2005, Media Industry Newsletter and Samir Husni named Traditional Home "One of the Hottest Magazine Launches of the Past 20 Years"
- In 2009, Traditional Home introduced its first class of New Trad designers and partners with the Hampton Designer Showhouse for the first time
- In 2011, Traditional Home and Lonny partnered to launch TRADhome—the brand's original digital issue
McDonough’s hope for the future? “In the next 25 years, Traditional Home hopes to continue to celebrate great design and be on the forefront of discovering the new talents who are moving it forward. We can't wait to see how technology continues to evolve, and how it will enable us to connect with design enthusiasts across multiple channels to deliver exciting, inspirational stories and great products wherever they search for them.”
CTC&G (Connecticut Cottages & Gardens)—10 years
Ten years ago, Connecticut Cottages & Gardens launched as the very first Cottages & Gardens publication. Now, its sisters include Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, New York Cottages & Gardens and the most recent addition, San Francisco Cottages & Gardens. To celebrate the anniversary, the magazine is in the process of producing its first showhouse in Connecticut, and the opening night gala will double as the 10th anniversary party. In addition, Editorial Director DJ Carey worked on special editorial features for the September issue, which is now on stands. Read on for more highlights from Carey.
What are some of the most memorable moments in CTC&G history?
- The evolution of our Innovation in Design Awards and how they have grown over the last eight years. It started out at The Silvermine Arts Center with 100 people and cocktails only, and this past year it was at The Greenwich Country Club with 400 attendees and a full sit-down dinner
- The Restoration of the Connecticut Governor’s Mansion
- The creation of Iconic Cottages & Gardens
- Our partnership with the Red Cross after the recession and our designer tabletop program
- We were a founding partner of Pink Aid, an annual fashion show and luncheon in support of Breast Cancer, with Mitchells of Westport. The first year we raised $250,000, and this year we raised over $500,000
Carey’s hope for the future? “Forge deeper relationships with our readers and continue to support design professionals in our markets so they can all grow and prosper,” she said.
Apartment Therapy—10 Years
“Every year has been a big year for us, but having a birthday gave us an extra kick as we wanted to show more to our readers on the occasion,” said Maxwell Ryan, Founder of Apartment Therapy Media. “We celebrated our 10th Birthday in May with a full, two-site relaunch during a big party at Subculture in Soho. We had 200 people at the event and not only flipped the switch on the new site in front of their eyes, but we also premiered our first five minute film that celebrated the sites through a little love story of a boy coming to the city and meeting a girl.”
What are some of the most memorable moments in the company’s history?
- Sitting alone in a freezing loft in Tribeca with a heater under my desk blogging in the first year. I was quickly addicted to the online exchanges and spent too many hours at the computer when I should have been out with clients for my service business. I shared the loft with a number of artists who were rarely there
- Signing a term sheet to sell Apartment Therapy for millions of dollars in 2008 to Scripps and feeling relieved that someone else was going to step in and actually run the business while I focused on writing and working with the new full-time staff of five
- Getting the call from Scripps four months later that the deal was off...just days after Lehman Brothers collapsed. While I was partially relieved that the deal didn't move forward as negotiations had been so grueling and I'd lost a lot of my optimism about the partnership, the economy was tipping over a ledge and everyone was nervous about just surviving
- A year later realizing that we'd had our best year ever and I COULD run the company and probably better than Scripps because I ran it out of love and intimate knowledge. Many magazines folded that year and our online business grew as people moved online. It was the year we dodged TWO bullets!
- This past May, celebrating 10 years with my team and being able to thank them and our readers for all their work. That evening felt like a great achievement and we all felt much more confident and energized about what we were doing, how far we'd come and what we wanted to do next
Ryan’s hope for the future? “I want to grow both of our sites while adding many more useful features that will help people make their homes more beautiful, organized and healthy. I see us not at a publisher, but as an online media company that has a lot more opportunities than the magazines to not only entertain, but be of USE to our readers. I see our comments growing, forums starting and databases built that will allow readers to look up products and stores and photographs quickly and easily—aiding them in their efforts at home.”
Editor at Large—5 Years
Five years ago, Editor at Large began growing as an industry resource with strong editorial cred and designer insight during a tumultuous economic spell. Since launching, the site has flourished with expanded coverage, insider features and industry-centric content including daily news, breaking stories, a robust events calendar and job board, and the popular EditorTV series. With plans to keep that momentum and develop new programs, the site looks forward.
“This year, we've really tried to bring our digital content to life by creating live events that bring our readers together through meaningful experiences,” said President and Site Director Julia Noran Johnston. “The first effort of this kind is our educational designer workshop series called LAUNCH. We tested the waters this summer with five classes ranging from designer contracts to interior photography and all went extremely well. We have a great line-up of instructors and plan to continue the program into the fall and spring. We will also be debuting our first-ever printed guide at the Fall High Point Market. We wanted to give our audience of interior designers a better way to navigate the best new introductions at Market, and direct them to showrooms that cater specifically to designers. We're also rolling out designer-led tours of Market, which will include private chartered van services and some great ‘off the beaten path’ shopping destinations. We've expanded our internal team and have an amazing group of women who are tireless, creative and full of ideas.”
What are some of the most memorable moments in the company's history?
Maybe it's the journalist in me, but some of the best moments have been when we've been able to break big industry news and watch traffic spike on the site. I always love hearing people tell me that Editor at Large is the CNN of the design world. It's a great feeling to know we are contributing to the industry in a meaningful way, that we are part of its evolution and that we have the privilege of sharing its stories.
Johnston’s hope for the future? “I'd like to see us continue to grow our content and events platform, and really dive deeper into the regional and international markets. The interior design community tends to be underserved and we are trying to fix that by creating a major hub for design professionals to learn, connect and grow their businesses. I see a lot of room for us to grow as the community grows.”
Elle Décor—25 years
In addition, Elle Décor is celebrating 25 years of the publication this year. Click here to read about it.
Stay tuned for more from this series of anniversaries—from design and architecture firms and retail stores to showrooms and design organizations—in the coming months.