Lately, when I've visited my local newsstand for a shelter mag fix, I've stared in dismay at the hole where my Domino and House and Garden used to reside. Luckily, there's a new publication hitting the magazine rack at the end of October that will help me to forget those fallen design heroes: Anthology may just be that shelter mag we've all been waiting for.
Anthology's editor-in-chief Anh-Minh Le (pictured, right) is a San Francisco local who's written the Stylemaker Spotlight column in the San Francisco Chronicle for the past few years. In addition, Anh-Minh has written for Apartment Therapy and Readymade, among other publications. Along with creative director Meg Mateo Ilasco (pictured, left), the two have bravely launched an absolutely lovely publication that's both beautifully written and artfully designed and photographed.
The first issue of Anthology embraces living the slow life — urging readers to take pleasure in simple, lovely moments and investing in experiences and items that improve with time. Even though Anh-Minh must have been frantically busy in these few weeks before the release of Anthology, the lovely Ms. Le practiced what her magazine preaches by embracing the slow life when she sat down to answer some of my questions about the magazine. Read the first part of my interview below, and check back later today for more of Anh-Minh's thoughtful responses to my queries.
CasaSugar: Who's involved with this magazine? Can you tell me a little bit about each of the major contributors?
Anh-Minh Le: My partner in this endeavor is Meg Mateo Ilasco, who serves as the magazine's creative director. She launched the Modern Economy sales years ago, and is an accomplished designer and book author. (She actually has two books coming out this Fall: Creative, Inc. and Crafting a Meaningful Home.) Although Meg and I are the only two actual staffers, we couldn't have done any of this without a team of extremely talented and dedicated contributors. Photographers Jen Siska, Thayer Allyson Gowdy, and Jessica Antola shot multiple stories for us. For styling, we enlisted Lena Corwin, Jordan Ferney, and Kelley Lilien. The writers we worked with — Leilani Marie Labong, Chantal Lamers, Holly Crawford — have a ton of editorial experience. Interior designer Grant K. Gibson contributed a makeover where he took a boring living room and totally gave it an unconventional but super cool new look. And Joy D. Cho, of the Oh Joy! blog and studio, is our market editor; she also designed our logo.
Continue reading the interview, and take a peek at the new magazine, when you read more.
CS: There's certainly a hole in the shelter magazine world since so many great magazines have disappeared in the past few years. How do you think Anthology will help to round out that world?
AML: Publications like Domino, O at Home, Budget Living, and Blueprint were great, and we would never dream of trying to be the next incarnation of any of them. Rather, we set out to create something fresh. I think we present our material a little differently — it's a more narrative approach. Sure, we'll let you know what color paint that is, but we also want to tell you about who lives in this house, the history of that object, why this place stood out to us among the many that crossed our desks. I hope that readers find the magazine to be inspirational, yet also accessible. For example, I don't cook much — or very well — but the recipes in our first issue are so easy and so good, even I can pull them off! And there's this one decorating idea in particular that Grant came up with that is simple yet brilliant. When you see it — it's on the last page of his article — you'll think, "Of course! Why didn't I think of that?"
CS: What inspired the name of the magazine?
AML: Since we envisioned the magazine as a collection of stories, the word Anthology just fit perfectly. Meg suggested it pretty early on and it was one of those "When it's right, you just know it" moments.
CS: What will be some of the recurring features?
AML: As far as big features go, we'll always have house tours, travel dispatches, and entertaining articles. For the regular departments, we plan to include interviews (in the first issue, we chat with Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge); a roundup of books that relate to the theme for the issue; a market report (provided by Joy); and product picks from some of our favorite boutiques. The back page is called "Prized Possession," and in the first issue, Aimee Cho — the designer behind the fashion label Gryphon New York — is photographed with these beautiful bowls that her father-in-law made. I love her explanation for why they're so special.
CS: Are there any stories in the premiere issue that you're particularly excited about?
AML: If I had to single out any, I would say the entertaining feature is one of my favorites. We shot a pizza party that was hosted by a couple who is pretty ensconced in the San Francisco food scene. She cofounded a well-known patisserie, and he started a wildly successful coffee business. They are insanely sweet and sincere, as were their party guests. We also profiled a designer in Chicago who makes gorgeous furniture by hand. It's wonderful to see people still employing traditional techniques — and know that there are buyers who still appreciate their craftsmanship.
Check back later today for the second half of my interview with Anh-Minh. For now, take a peek at some of the images from the new magazine!
Cover illustration by Kris Atomic. Photo of Anh-Minh Le and Meg Mateo Ilasco by Kelly Ishikawa