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‘AD100: The New Taste’ documentary short set to debut this month

November 13, 2023

Directed by American filmmaker Kate Novak, “AD100: The New Taste” continues the outlet's focus on long-form video content. Image courtesy of Condé Nast Directed by American filmmaker Kate Novak, “AD100: The New Taste” continues the outlet's focus on long-form video content. Image courtesy of Condé Nast


Condé Nast shelter publication Architectural Digest is entering cinematic spaces with its latest update — Luxury Daily exclusively presents the announcement.

The outlet is shining a light on storytelling, tapping the talents among its network to serve as the subjects of an all-new documentary short. Directed by American filmmaker Kate Novak, “AD100: The New Taste” takes an in-depth look at the journeys of some of the world’s most accomplished modern-day designers and architects, threading the needle between the film’s cast and crew while highlighting the legacy of one of the industry's most influential annual releases.

“This year, with the AD100 documentary, we wanted to create a new way to tell the stories of our designers and celebrate their achievements,” said Amy Astley, global editorial director and U.S. editor in chief at Architectural Digest, New York.

“I think we all share the same fascinations: One, everyone loves a success story, and it’s so satisfying to have an inside look at talented and determined people reaching extraordinary accomplishments,” Ms. Astley said. “And two, who can resist peeking into the most incredible private homes in the world?

“Our short film layers both.”

Launching “The New Taste”
With backing from Condé Nast Entertainment and Abstract Productions — the media company is responsible for projects such as “The First Monday in May” and “The Gospel According to André,” to name a few — Architectural Digest’s mini motion picture delves into the worlds of three working professionals.

English interior designer, author and television personality Martyn Lawrence Bullard joins fine artist and interior designer Leyden Lewis, as well as Pamela Shamshiri, who specializes in production, art direction and set design, for the effort.

Each holding spots on the 2023 edition of the magazine’s annual AD100 exercise, the stars' paths include a commonality. The shared reality of their trajectories lends the trio unique perspectives and unmatched levels of expertise, on view throughout Architectural Digest’s delivery.

“What’s interesting as they tell their stories is we learn that each one had their own personal, meaningful transformation,” Ms. Astley said.

Image courtesy of Condé Nast “AD100: The New Taste” arrives on the outlet's site and YouTube channel starting Nov. 20. Image courtesy of Condé Nast

“They started with different careers — Martyn an actor, Pamela a film production designer, Leyden a fine artist — and yet today all are AD100 interior designers, challenging the notions of taste and style,” she said. “I hope viewers grasp the drive for change that propels creative people to seek new directions, and also the sense that a career distinction like the AD100 can be enormously transformative.”

Largely captured in both New York City and Los Angeles, the publication's editorial lead, alongside members of its staff, will also be featured.

A private premiere screening of the documentary short will be held in New York City this week in partnership with luxury faucet and bath fittings brand Brizo.

“Like any index, the AD100 list is a fleeting moment in time that captures the best of the best in design today, but it also is an enduring testament — these designers and their visions truly set how the rest of the world lives for years to come,” Ms. Astley said.

AD100 has represented the sector’s hottest interior decoration, architecture and landscape design acts since 1990.

“At AD, we know how significant the AD100 list is — and has always been — to both the design industry and our readers,” Ms. Astley said.

“AD100 showcases the best of the best in design for the coming year, and being on the list is truly the highest honor a design professional can earn,” she said. “When I joined AD in 2016 the list was only published every other year — we changed that immediately to make it annual.

“Even more importantly, we took a new approach to how we select the names on the list.”

The December 2023 cover of Architectural Digest. Image courtesy of Condé Nast The December 2023 cover of Architectural Digest. Image courtesy of Condé Nast

Indeed, the list has shifted directions over the years to prioritize important considerations such as DEI, all the while keeping a range of mediums in mind.

“Before, it was a fairly predictable set of honorees, but today as we deliberate on the designers, architects, and landscape designers who are creating the most influential works of the year, we seek names who represent diversity of all types,” Ms. Astley said.

“And to feel vibrant and current, we prioritize adding more new debuts to the AD100 each year, giving repeat winners the honor of a Hall of Fame recognition, another new designation I added when I started,” she said. “I’ve heard from countless people that being named to the AD100 is a career triumph.

“It’s one of the few awards that has the potential to significantly raise their professional profile and open doors to new clients and projects.”

Another transformative chapter has been ushered in under the current editorial lead’s purview, one defined by the integration of digital.

To place personal touches on the townhome, the couple worked closely with AD100 designer Billy Cotton 

The most recent AD100 package, released in January (see story), launched as Architectural Digest continues to rev up the use of long-form video, pairing curated content with the appropriate social media platforms to ensure a global reach.

“Video is top of mind for me and the editorial team as we constantly seek ways to enhance our storytelling,” Ms. Astley said.

“AD100: The New Taste” will be available to watch on Architectural Digest’s site and YouTube channel starting Nov. 20.