Amy Astley, the newly-minted editor in chief of Architectural Digest, has launched her first issue, with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on the August cover. Astley was named editor in chief of AD in May after then-editor Margaret Russell, who helmed the glossy for five-and-a-half years, was let go.
A spokesman from AD said the August issue features a mix of stories many of which are from Russell’s time as editor, including the cover story. Astley will debut her first full issue in September.
Nonetheless, the issue, which goes on sale nationally on July 12, features an editor’s letter by Astley that serves as an introduction. After all, most readers of AD probably haven’t heard of Astley, even though she served as editor in chief of Condé Nast sister glossy Teen Vogue since it launched in 2003.
“Allow me to introduce myself. I have just stepped (joyfully!) into the editor in chief role at this marvelous and legendary magazine,” Astley wrote. “As there is nothing that delights me more than a riot of vivid pattern and hues, it is serendipitous that my entrance happens to coincide with the issue annually themed ‘Living With Color.'”
Astley, who signed her editor’s letter as she had at Teen Vogue — with three loopy letters spelling out ‘Amy’ — hinted at what may be her mantra for AD. After exploring questions about the role of interior design in “today’s high-tech, fast-paced world,” she wrote: “The spaces that merit the pages of Architectural Digest are certainly intended to inspire, but they should also, I would argue, push the viewer just a bit outside their comfort zone.”
On the cover, AD features Cooper sitting in a swing at his Brazilian getaway home. Shot by Simon Upton, the cover and spread showcases bold interiors from Cooper’s home in Trancoso. He became transfixed with the out-of-the-way the town when on vacation with his partner Benjamin Maisani and their friend, Andy Cohen, of NBC’s Bravo.
“People often talk about what a magical place his is. That word always irks me — I don’t trust it somehow,” Cooper said in the accompanying story by Mayer Rus. “But I’ve worked in 70 countries and traveled even more and I’ve never seen anything like Trancoso. It’s a real place, not a Potemkin village for tourists.”
To decorate his retreat, Cooper enlisted Wilbert Das, former Diesel creative director and hotelier, to build the property, which features four buildings, a free-form swimming pool and land dappled with mango, cacao, jackfruit, banana and açaí trees.
When Cooper isn’t jetting around the world to vacation or to cover a breaking news story, he’s in his office in New York, where he keeps a photograph of Trancoso’s town square.