It’s not easy to wish yourself happy birthday in an engaging video, but Elle Decor pulls it off with the help of a cherry red armchair. Paradoxically named for another magazine, Poltrona Frau’s “Vanity Fair” chair graced the cover of the very first stateside issue of Elle Decor (pictured) alongside coverlines including “The Simplicity of American Wood” and “America’s Love Affair with Wildflowers.” That was nearly twenty-five years ago, and the magazine rounded up some of its favorite people—from interiors all-stars such as Bunny Williams and Robert Couturier to fashion designer Carolina Herrera and longtime contributor Daniel Boulud—to celebrate the impending quarter-century milestone.
A special anniversary issue is planned for the September edition. As for that red armchair, it’s safely ensconced in the Elle Decor offices, where it will be forever be compared to its younger self. “It has more alizarin in it,” says interior designer Alessandra Branca in the video, pointing to the actual chair before turning back to one depicted in the vintage magazine in her lap. “That has more cadmium.”