The Design Industry Remembers Legendary Editor Paige Rense
“If you were at a dinner table with Paige Rense, no matter who else was at the table—the pope, the president, the biggest stars in Hollywood, it doesn’t matter who—the only conversation at the table revolved around AD,” designer Peter Stamberg wrote in an email this past weekend. It was not long after news broke of Rense’s death at age 91 following heart issues. Speaking specifically about one dinner party, Stamberg recalled, “I was two seats away from Ms. Rense at the round table, but was the only design professional at the table, so we were very much in conversation. During dessert there was a lull in the conversation. I chimed up to her, ‘You know, sometimes I get my issue of Digest, flip through it and see absolutely nothing of interest.’ Eyes widened all the way around the table, all eyes widened except hers. After a brief pause, I added, ‘And when then happens I say to myself: Don’t miss the next issue. There will be something in it that will make my heart pound.’ Without missing a beat, she leaned into the table and said, ‘Exactly. I know my audience and I know how to keep their interest. . . .’ Drawing out her words, she added, ‘I know how to balance my issues.’”
That colorful, illuminating, and undeniably special memory is just the sort of story that many other members of the design industry have taken to social media to share in the wake of Rense’s passing. AD’s decorative arts editor, Mitchell Owens, shared a tribute of his own, on which numerous designers commented. “I am so incredibly indebted to her for her early support of my career in design,” AD100 decorator Timothy Corrigan wrote. “She truly understood the importance of nurturing and supporting talent. She will be missed.” Fellow AD100 veteran Juan Pablo Molyneux demonstrated his signature sense of elegance by simply writing: “Fantastic woman, extraordinary lady, brilliant editor, true friend, and great mentor.” Below, we round up additional Instagram posts dedicated to the late, great Paige Rense.