Yves Saint-Laurent, John Travolta, David Bowie, Ralph Lauren – just a handful of the celebs and tastemakers whose incredible houses and personal spaces have been featured over the years in Architectural Digest, the slick design bible founded nearly a century ago. Now these stunning interiors and many more have been compiled in coffee table book form by Paige Rense, who edited the magazine for 35 years starting in 1975.
Architectural Digest: Autobiography of a Magazine 1920-2010, published by Rizzoli and now available on Amazon, celebrates the "innovative and curatorial" eye of Rense, who set the gold standard for glossy coverage in the design world.
“When Paige joined the magazine [she] turned it into a bible for decorators and architects," designer Mario Buatta notes. "For 40 years, she produced an amazing mix of talent from the world over, filling upwards of 400 pages an issue. She also delivered interviews with major architects and people in related fields to educate readers about the who, what and where of design."
"We took our readers into the homes of celebrities, presidents, kings [and] artists," Rense adds, "and featured the work of some of the finest writers of their generation, along with unforgettable images by the best photographers. It’s safe to say that Architectural Digest launched the careers of countless architects and interior designers around the world in the process.”
From David Bowie's exotic escape on the island of Mustique to John Travolta's private airplane hangar complete with a bar and even the White House itself, AD has brought us tantalizing glimpses of the most beautiful and exclusive design and architecture in the world, and has come to be recognized as the international authority on the subject.
In addition to the glorious design images – over 300 of them – the book also provides a fascinating look at the evolution of the magazine, including rare gems like the automotive edition pictured above with Kevin Costner and his beloved 1966 Mustang on the cover, a tour of Palm Springs in a classic Corvette, and a feature on an epic Land Rover safari.
Every era of interior design is included, and each chapter of the book is lavishly illustrated with archival covers and page spreads from past issues, while Rense provides pithy anecdotes about putting them together and the sometimes prickly personalities she encountered along the way – as well as many gracious boldface names who were simply happy to celebrate their good taste.
We're sure you've already added a copy to your cart, but if not we suggest doing so post haste as no design library is complete without it.