#AD100 By The Numbers

Anyone who has ever double tapped on #DesignPorn (or simply knows their Colombo’s from their Castelli’s) is likely a fan of Architectural Digest. The Conde Nast-owned, Amy Astley-edited shelter bible, dubs itself the “international design authority” — and for good reason. Since its inception as a California interiors and exteriors magazine in 1920, the glossy has become the holy grail of the design world — carrying major authoritative gravitas from lighting showrooms to boutique hotel bedsides from Austria to Zermatt. The brand serves as a stamp of purchasing approval for brands, restaurants, resorts and starchitects in the making.

The @ArchDigest Instagram account has seen strong growth this past year with an increase of 46% new followers.

But of all the brand initiatives that leave design nerds drooling, one stands out as Architectural Digest’s piece de resistance: The #AD100, a yearly ranking of the most important designers and architects to know across the globe as chosen by editorial staff. First launched in 1995 as a biannual list, the directory made its yearly debut in 2015 — around the same time that the hashtag effect fully arrived on the scene and ready to bring a new level of awareness to a twenty-year-old print-focused franchise. These diverse accounts offer a cross-sectioned glimpse into the social media strategies (or lack thereof) amongst a prestigious grouping of high-brow accounts.

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When Jeanette Mix tapped #AD100 designer Ilse Crawford to help reconfigure the Mix family’s 1916 mansion, she had to trust her. “We really interrogate clients,” Crawford explains. “What would she do in her study? Are the kids going to come in here? How are they going to sit? When are they going to use it? What if someone needs to step out and make a phone call?” That analytical deep dive captivated Jeanette, a trained sommelier and skilled cook. “It was an intellectual journey where I learned so much about myself,” she recalls. Trusting Crawford meant agreeing to her radical suggestion to relocate the kitchen, from a distant corner of the main floor to the lovely but lonely drawing room. Today, with its tall double doors opened wide, the sunny latter space has become a fulcrum.“Everything is quite perforate on this floor,” says Kirsten James, who was the lead designer on the Mix commission. “You’ve got this really nice circulation, where you can access every room and have different activities but all be together.” The decor of things old, new, custom-made, and recycled (“Beauty has many faces,” Crawford sagely observes) includes a scrap-wood @piet_hein_eek cabinet that makes a rugged foil for the fancy-pants chandelier—which now incorporates mono-point lighting that illuminates the island for food preparation and washing up. Also in the kitchen, pictured above, is a sapele wood cabinet by Studio Ilse, and a sofa by Mogens Koch for Rud. Rasmussen in front of the island. To see more of the home, visit the link in our profile. Photo by @magnusmarding; text by @adaesthete; styled by @jcbhrtzl

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We broke down this year’s list — which includes the likes of Snap Inc. headquarters mastermind Barbara Bestor and Obama-era White House décor conceiver Michael Smith to glean analytical insights into the cohort’s Instagram game — and maybe get a few #DesignPorn inspo moments of our own, too.

  • 51,892: The average number of followers for the 92 people on the 2019 #AD100 on Instagram (8 ‘laggard brands’ are not on Instagram…)
  • 603,284: The number of followers Nate Berkus has — otherwise known as Oprah’s favorite interior’s man — and the account with the highest follower count on the list.
  • 55%: The highest engagement rate of any account on the list, Martin Finio enjoyed by half of New York-based architecture and design studio
    Christoff:Finio Architecture. The account’s secret sauce? Only 332 Followers.
  • 8%: The lowest rounded engagement rate (worth noting — 4x industry average) collectively enjoyed by two major list makers — British conceptual fashion label Too Good and designer Kelly Wearstler.
  • 7: The number of designers and firms on the list who have engaged in #SponCon during the last 90 days.
  • 1,380: The average number of new followers accrued by accounts on the list in the last 90 days.