Jonathan Adler Offers Holiday Gift Giving Advice: "Be Thoughtful, Not Weird"
You may recognize Jonathan Adler's name from the Bravo show Top Design. But the TV personality is also a potter, designer, and author, as well as the owner of his namesake design empire. With 19 stores and counting, an e-commerce site and a wholesale business with 1,000+ locations worldwide, he's pretty much become a household name.
The talented Adler -- who incorporates a mid-century mod aesthetic with pop and art culture -- is making his way to Miami, to celebrate the expansion of his Miami location, as well as his new book, 100 Ways to Happy Chic Your Life.
We caught up with Adler to discuss the future of his fun, cheeky design company, his new tome, and gift giving in Miami.
Cultist: What inspired you to write 100 Ways to Happy Chic Your Life? Why now?
Jonathan Adler: My bloke Simon Doonan and I recently built our dream house on Shelter Island, and as we were building it I came up with the idea for the book. Many of the photos are from the house. A happy chic life is about starting with a chic foundation and then layering in playful punctuation.
You offer up a lot of fun tips in the book. Did your partner Simon (Doonan) have any influence on you when writing it?
"Deface It," one of my favorite tips in the book, came from Simon. He brilliantly defaced a vintage print of George Washington by adding an eye patch, Dali-stache, red lips -- and a Prince pendant.
Your personality really shines through in your design. What continues to inspire you to come up with such great pieces?
I'm fortunate to live in New York, where inspiration is around every corner. I keep my eyes and my ears wide open. I want everything I make to exude style, craft, and joy.
What's next for your brand?
More, more, more. The more I make the more I want to make.
You've collaborated with 7 For All Mankind and Lacoste. Any plans to launch your own fashion line in the near future?
This spring I'll be launching a collection of fashion accessories. In all my years in home design, I've developed a broad range of patterns and motifs that I think work perfectly on handbags, scarves, and other small accessories.
Who knows what's next? I am restless and hungry.
What are the challenges of gift giving in Miami for you?
What can you give that can compete with the perfect blue of the ocean and the orange of the sun?
Any strategies for not failing at your office's Secret Santa?
Don't give anything too personal. Be remembered for how thoughtful your gift is, not how weird you are.
What can someone get for the person who has everything (like you)?
Give a game; I like our set of playing cards in a chic lacquer box. It's more than an object, it's an activity.
Jonathan Adler's book signing will take place today from 6-8pm at Jonathan Adler Miami, 4040 NE Second Ave. For more information, visit JonathanAdler.com.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about arts and culture events in Miami and offers you won't hear about anywhere else.