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Town & Country Celebrates 175th Anniversary With John Waters

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Town & Country is celebrating its 175th anniversary with none other than John Waters on the cover — and no one is more happy about it than the iconic actor himself.

Waters, who is set to appear in new seasons of “Search Party” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” told the publication that his parents pored over the magazine when he was growing up, while he himself has subscribed for three decades.

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“This is the way I was raised. That’s what they wanted me to look like,” he said. “Being on the cover of Town & Country is a surprise to me, in a great way. It’s another irony in a life of ironies. My mother would be very happy.”

The 175th anniversary issue is a celebration of taste, legends and legacy, and delves into the questions of what those ideas constitute — from taking inspiration from Slim Aarons’ photography for Waters’ 2021 Town & Country cover shoot, to exploring who gets to decide what good and bad taste is, to delving into timeless legacy brands in food, fashion, jewelry and design.

In the case of Waters, the accompanying feature adds that in many ways the re-appreciation he is experiencing is like that of another firmly canonized icon, Dolly Parton. “After decades as the objects of dismissive wisecracks, their talent, tenacity and nerve prevailed,” it said. “Called outrageous, revolting and ‘a clothesline to hang his filthy laundry on’ by one critic, Waters’s body of work is now seen as a celebration of American originality,” the magazine writes.

As for Town & Country, in her editor in chief’s letter, Stellene Volandes said the magazine “has managed to become the longest continuously published one in America.” According to data from the Alliance for Audited Media, the Hearst-owned brand’s total audience was up almost 5 percent in the first six months of the year, compared with the same period a year earlier, aided by a surge in video.

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