Stellene Volandes became Editor-in-Chief of Town & Country magazine on March 8, 2016. Before her appointment, she had been style director at the magazine since March 2012, shaping the fashion and society features each month in a role that gave her a significant hand in developing the magazine’s journalistic range and stable of contributors. Prior to being named style director, she served as jewelry & accessories director since April 2011. She is the daughter of long-time Leadership 100 members, John and Marcella Volandes.
Previously, Volandes was style editor for Departures magazine, where she assigned and edited all fashion and jewelry features, having held increasingly senior roles since 2003. Before entering the magazine world, she taught high school.
A graduate of Vassar College, where she was attracted to its strong theatre program, she subsequently earned a master’s degree in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Her book, Jeweler: Masters, Mavericks, and Visionaries of Modern Design, was published on September 20, 2016 by Rizzoli.
Volandes grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and went to high school at Poly Prep. While New York has been her home, she considers Los Angeles and Greece, where she goes every summer, as second homes. She currently resides on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where she leads an active social life, and frequently attends the theatre on the West Side. Both, she says, give her sources for many of her Town & Country stories. She has been called “an all-knowing guide to the best of New York City.”
She travels widely for the magazine, representing it at sales events for merchandise, meeting readers and clients, many of whom she says have an attachment to Town & Country. In interviews, she has expressed her own intimate connection with the magazine and her feelings of responsibility to protect its legacy as it evolves. She has described the 173-year legacy of Town & Country, the oldest continually published magazine in the country, as one of its greatest strengths. She says that the legacy consists of good values, philanthropy, good taste and the rules of civility. But she acknowledges the importance of changing at the same time. “Real etiquette and elegance come from knowing what is appropriate for the time,” she has said.
Volandes credits various mentors at Town & Country, Vogue and Departures for preparing her for her current role and her instructors at Poly Prep and Vassar for teaching her how to create and develop stories. She believes that magazines will have a future if they have a clear point of view and points out that Town & Country is growing in readership.