TOWN AND COUNTRY GOES WEST: Town & Country is the latest monthly to jump on the Los Angeles bandwagon with its September issue, though not in the typical Hollywood-heavy or fall fashion-focused manner. Editor in chief Jay Fielden tapped Liz Goldwyn — author, filmmaker and granddaughter of Samuel Goldwyn — as the magazine’s first guest editor in the title’s 168-year history.
This story first appeared in the August 6, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I met Liz about five years ago. She has great style, an interesting family and, at heart, she has a very intellectual bent and an interest in the history of her beloved city. I felt she could capture L.A. in its full richness.” For her part, Goldwyn, who was once the New York editor for French Vogue, said, “I’ve never taken on anything on this scale. The one caveat I had was I didn’t want to do what people look at as a Hollywood issue. It’s been done and it doesn’t accurately reflect my city.”
To that end, Goldwyn worked with creative director at large Nicoletta Santoro to create a 44-page portfolio highlighting 34 influential Angelenos in fashion, music, entertainment, technology, art, film and food, all of whom were shot by Santoro’s husband, Max Vadukul. The chosen range from the obvious (Laura and Kate Mulleavy; Michael Govan and Katharine Ross) to the eclectic (gallerists Hannah Hoffman and Michelle Joan Papillion; musicians Leopold Ross and Ioanna Gika of the band Io Echo) to the insider (Tower Bar’s maitre d’ Dimitri Dimitrov). The Hollywood connections are often deeply personal — Goldwyn penned an essay about her father Samuel Goldwyn Jr., posed for a portrait with her brother Tony and interviewed David Lynch, whom she last saw when he screened a rough cut of “Wild at Heart” for her father years ago.
Some subjects just allowed her to play fangirl: an interview with music producer Rick Rubin and in the inclusion of Laird Hamilton in a front-of-book feature. Other stories and sections are marked with a “The LA Issue” stamp or simply a thematic nod, such as the well feature on Tony Duquette’s right-hand man Hutton Wilkinson’s home. Cover girl Naomi Watts — who was booked before Goldwyn came on board — was shot by Victor Demarchelier in Duquette’s house, at Goldwyn’s suggestion. (Yes, the actress has been photographed more in Brooklyn than in Los Angeles, but the deck describes her as now “spending more time in L.A.”)
The 234-page issue, which hits newsstands next week, represents a 25 percent increase in ad pages over last September and is Town & Country’s biggest September issue since 2008 (year-to-date, the magazine, which has a rate base of 475,000, is up 23 percent in ad revenue over last year). While Fielden said, “We’ve said our piece on giving L.A. a full issue for at least a year or two,” he’s exploring other guest editors for the near future, adding, “A letter has already gone out.”