| Oct 21, 2011 |
Margaret Russell discusses reinvention, staying relevant
Boh staff
By Staff

By Alexandra Rosario

During the Decoration and Design Building’s Fall Market, Margaret Russell, editor in chief of Architectural Digest (AD), gave the first lecture of market, “The Power of Reinvention.” The discussion expounded on the importance of reinvention and staying relevant in an ever-changing industry.

Russell showed some of the pages of AD with the audience, explaining that one of the biggest differences with AD now is how they show interiors. “Our interior shots are much warmer now,” said Russell. “Our shots truly capture what the interior looks like in real life. One of my favorite things about looking at these pictures is seeing the detail and personality in each individual space.”

She showed the audience three different pictures that were combined to create one shot of an interior that highlights all the best features of the space like lighting and depth to more accurately portray what it looks like in real life. “But even with five people and a great digital camera, you still don’t always get the shot you want,” she said.

The audience perked up when she announced the return of AD’s June 'Country Houses' and February 'Before and After' issues.

After speaking about the changes underway at AD, Russell gave some advice for both new and established designers about adapting to the times. “Change is hard and reinvention takes faith,” she said. “But reinvention and relevance is key! Take a look at your brand identity because you need to stand out. You’re still running a business, albeit a creative one.”

Russell admonished those designers who don’t have a website yet. “If you don’t have a website, you need to get one!” she said. “Google has changed our lives forever. Even my dry cleaner has a website now. Make a Facebook fan page and sign up for a Twitter account.”

She also warned about the dangers of similar sounding web domains. “Make sure you register EVERY domain name that could ever possibly be linked to you,” she said. She related a story about her own experience with seemingly stolen web identity and domain names, and how she has made sure to snap up anything that could be related to her on the web. Also concerning web presence, Russell had one last piece of advice. “This may sound vain, but if you’re going to be at an event or are even just shooting a picture for your website, have your hair and make-up done! It matters, because it is on the Internet and that stays forever. You want to be proud of how you look and proud of your business.”

Photos by Jennan Al-Hamdouni
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