Nov 08, 2019
“It was a group effort,” says Amy Astley, editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest on the magazine’s new book, Architectural Digest at 100: A Century of Style. “100 years of images is a lot to edit down to a manageable size,” says Astley. “We tried to show projects that feel timeless in their continued relevance and influence and chart the evolution of AD and of American lifestyles and tastes over a century.” Inside the book, the homes are as diverse as the subjects including Alexander Wang’s Ryan Korban designed West Chelsea pad to Robert Redford’s west coast ski estate. “The projects selected retained their sense of importance in the history of design,” says Astley. “AD has always strived to showcase the best of the best.”
And for the year ahead, Astley has equally grand plans for the brand in the digital age. “We keep refining our products which are growing so rapidly,” says Astley of Clever, AD’s real-life solutions for daily living and decorating; ADPro, an in-depth look at the industry with business insights; along with the magazine’s website and social channels. “How many companies can say that they are 100 years old and still innovating, attracting fresh audiences, and shaping modern tastes,” asks Astley who’s focus will be on video and YouTube. As for her dream get for the year ahead? “David and Victoria Beckham at home!”
Below, we asked Astley to share what career she’d have other than her own, her current shopping obsession, and her Sunday night ritual.
What time do you wake up and what is the first thing you do?
I wake up at 6 am and I make the bed right off! It gives me an immediate feeling of accomplishment and order. Hubby is up at 6 am too!
Coffee, tea, or juice?
I have never had a cup of coffee in my life! Lapsang Souchong tea in the morning—I love the smoky smell and flavor. And an iced green tea in the afternoon—Starbucks does a good one.
What are your essential daily reads —> print or digital?
The NY Times in a print and digital combo; Page Six in digital; BoF and WWD in digital. ADPro and ArchitecturalDigest.com.
What is the first app you check?
What is the last purchase that you’re still obsessed with?
I am still obsessed with a big round white marble coffee table I splurged on from RW Guild [Roman and Williams Guild] in New York City. It looks great with flowers and books—my favorite stuff—on it. Practical, beautiful, and indestructible—my family put their feet all over it. Sigh.
What is on your shopping wish list?
Art. I really want a mirror painting by my friend, artist Rachel Feinstein. And an LED light piece by my friend, artist Leo Villareal. And a painting by my friend, artist Lisa Yuskavage...just to get started!
What’s the soundtrack to your look right now?
Frank Ocean. I hope I look at ease, personal, and effortless, rather than "trying too hard." I am really comfortable in my own style, my own skin, and my own age and want my clothes and grooming to reflect that. Also, I don't spend a ton of time thinking about "my look." I respect Frank Ocean. His sound is his own.
If you were not in your current role, what would your profession be?
I trained to be a ballet dancer as a child until I was 18. It was my professional path until I accepted that I was better off going to college. I was no Misty Copeland superstar, that is for sure! I attend the ballet constantly—we are so lucky to have two world class companies here in one city, the ABT [American Ballet Theatre] and NYCB [New York City Ballet]. I support them both and all the dancers. I still consider myself very athletic - ideally I work out every day.
Who / what is your style inner self?
I love 1970s style for sure and Stevie Nicks is a forever goddess.
Do you have a Sunday night ritual? If so, what is it?
On weekend mornings in New York I do the hardest ballet barre class in the world at Physique 57 with instructors Adam or Torrey. If I can take a long bath with epsom salts and a candle on Sunday night I feel pampered and ready for Monday. Also, I cherish the Sunday New York Times—in print—and I am generally still finishing reading that beast well into the evening! It's like continuing education for adults.