It’s Tuesday, which means the new reincarnation of Domino hit newsstands today. Have you picked up your copy? I rushed out to get mine right away, and I’ve gotta say – I’m a happy girl! I’ll admit I was a little skeptical, especially after the last resurrection of my all-time favorite mag was such a disappointment. Last year, they slapped together two issues of rehashed content, pulled directly from old issues, bound in a fancy, thick gloss paper and played on our emotions by selling it to us for $13 a pop.
Yes, I bought it anyway. But begrudgingly. That tactic might’ve worked on a less iconic magazine, but the thing about Domino is this: Many of the people who loved Domino…like, LOVED it. We have every back issue filed away. We own the book. We’ve pinned every image. We’ve reblogged our favorite rooms. I can identify about 90% of the images that appeared in old issues of Domino at a glance. So no, a rehash of old content wasn’t what rabid Domino fans wanted.
We wanted new stuff. And finally, they listened! This newest reincarnation is led by Michelle Adams and Robert Leleux of Lonny. Adams worked under Deborah Needleman at the original Domino. All I know about Leleux is that he wrote a great book and when he signed my copy at the Arkansas Literary Festival, he gushed about my “fabulously southern name” for awhile. We’re total besties, obvy.
Anyway, this new Domino is a quarterly pub in that same fancy paper as the rehashed “special editions.” It makes it feel a bit more permanent, like it will hold up on your bookshelves for years. As if they know that Domino fans save all their copies. It also is surprisingly empty of advertising like the special editions. The mag is bookended with Target ads on the front and back inside covers, and other than a few house ads promoting the website, there are no other ads inside. Which is lovely!
In terms of content, all the stuff you loved about the old Domino is still there. Scouting, Nesting, Decorating, and even a beefed up Entertaining section, which I particularly enjoyed. I also liked the addition of a “Small Spaces” column, which featured the studio apartment of Lauren McGrath (love her). Art direction is exactly as before, down to the fonts, arrows and layouts you’re used to.
In Domino’s signature style, the featured homes run the gamut from over-the-top glam (India Hicks castle/home) to low-key minimalism.
My one complaint (if I can even call it that) is the strange way they sort of featured everyone twice. For instance, Ali Cayne of Haven’s Kitchen has a home feature on page 100, and her home is featured on the cover AND the chef from Haven’s Kitchen curated the recipes for the “Soulful Feast” entertaining spread on page 42. And for some reason, they got a model to sit in Ali’s living room for the cover, rather than Ali (who appears on page 101 and is absolutely cover-worthy in my opinion). That same model appears on the Gift Guide opener.
Likewise, Lauren McGrath’s apartment is featured, as is the office of Lucky Magazine editor Eva Chen…which was designed by Lauren McGrath. The Destination feature details a trip to Tangier, while there is an in-depth decorating feature on Tangier’s Grand Hotel Nord-Pinus further back in the mag.
See what I’m saying? You might not even notice it if you’re quickly flipping through the magazine, but it was very apparent to me. If Lauren McGrath was being featured, why wouldn’t they save Eva Chen’s office for a later issue? It comes off as either lazy or as though they couldn’t find enough varying content.
Meanwhile, I poked around on the new e-commerce website, which went live last Thursday, but it seemed to have a few bugs and issues that still need to be worked out, so I’ll keep my comments to myself for now.
Overall, I’m thrilled with the outcome! What say you? Love it? Hate it? Whatever?