Long before there were “influencers” and Instagram became a lens via which to peer into their respective personal spaces, Coveteur.com was capturing unfiltered, behind-the-scenes glimpses into fashion-industry personalities around the world, many of them unknown (and often unrecognized) at the time – stylists, makeup artists and designers – all tastemakers in their own right. With the mission of celebrating their personal style through unretouched profiles of their homes and closets, the site also set out to inspire people’s imagination: to dare us to be colorful and bold, to obsess over impeccable details and simplicity all the same and to give us an enticing, yet authentic, taste of luxury at its finest. Seemingly overnight, Coveteur became the online hub for luxe lovers everywhere.
Today, just over five years since its inception, Coveteur has cemented itself as a luxury lifestyle media company in its own right, having evolved and expanded into documenting and providing a behind-the-scenes look at all things fashion, beauty, wellness and travel. For the brand’s founders – stylist Stephanie Mark and photographer Jake Rosenberg, for whom the site started as a joint passion project – extending their creative vision has been the ultimate indulgence. Last month, this powerhouse duo celebrated the launch of the brand’s first coffee-table book, The Coveteur: Private Spaces, Personal Style (Abrams).
In true Coveteur fashion, the book stunningly profiles more than 40 global trendsetters, including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who penned the foreword and a diverse – and fabulous – group of stylists, creative directors, makeup artists, writers, editors, athletes and CEOs that include everyone from (my girl) Jessica Alba to the iconic Hugh Hefner.
On the heels of a whirlwind launch week, Coveteur co-founder, Stephanie Mark herself, gave me a sneak peek into the book and answered some of my questions. Needless to say, I’ve been captivated.
You launched Coveteur long before the rise of the “digital influencer,” providing your visitors with the opportunity to – for the first time ever, in most cases – peer into the private spaces of some of the world’s most enigmatic personalities. What inspired you to be ahead of that trend? When did you know you were on to something special (and with potential)?
I think that the day the site launched, we knew we were creating content in a very new way. The site started off as a passion project, so in the beginning we were just excited about getting to profile these amazing people and showcase them in a way that felt unique. Only once the site went live and we saw people’s reactions did it connect that maybe we were on to something.
What have the past five years been like? Sum it up in one word.
Many of your subjects, including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, have expressed being drawn to your authentic and fun approach to pulling back the curtain and unearthing the core of what’s captivating, desirable and enticing about your subjects’ luxury lifestyle. What inspired that mindset and how do you achieve it?
Once we started going into people’s homes, we realized that their environments (and the stuff they collect and have around their homes) tell as much about their personality and story as their wardrobes do. To get into the mindset is about really looking at their wardrobe and then their home and seeing the points where they meet and the similarities between the two.
Describe your creative process. How do you keep your thinking fresh and invigorating?
Since each home is so unique and different, it is easy to keep being inspired since we are in a new setting every day. It is also about forgetting past homes and closets and what you did there and really focusing on making the one you are at as unique as possible.
How did you apply your authentic, fun and creative approach to the making of your first coffee table book, The Coveteur: Private Spaces, Personal Style?
We shot the profiles for the book the same way we approach all of the closets we shoot. These ones were a bit more logistically challenging and exciting, as we traveled quite extensively internationally to get our wish-list of people.
The profiles highlighted in the book vary from stylists, creative directors and makeup artists to athletes, actresses and CEOs of lifestyle brands. What would you say is the common thread among them?
The common thread among all the people we profile is that they are in some way – whether it is their wardrobe, their interiors, their career trajectory – influential and inspirational in their respective field. We want our readers to see their profiles and walk away feeling like they have learned something about this person that they didn’t know before and, ideally, be inspired to try something new.
Coffee table books are said to be visual representations of someone’s interests, aesthetics and ethos. What do you want Private Spaces, Personal Style to convey?
We want the book to convey that the person is interested in design, fashion, technology, travel and so on and also getting to know and learn more about inspirational people.
What’s in store for Coveteur in the next five years?
We see Coveteur as a brand, and we are trying to grow the different ways our readers can interact with us. The book is one way, but we are also getting into more video, events, television, retail, etc. Stay tuned!