Jonathan Adler is an iconic potter turned interior designer, home furnishings maven, author, and most recently, fashion accessories designer. Adler launched his first ceramic collection at Barneys New York in 1994, and opened his first namesake boutique in Manhattan five years later. Today, Jonathan Adler is an internationally recognized lifestyle and home furnishings brand with 25 stores worldwide. This year, Adler launched his largest foray into fashion to date with the launch of a new line of wallets, change purses, belts, scarves, hats and handbags, in his signature combination of color and pattern work.
What made you decide it was time to release your own line of handbags and accessories?
Fashion accessories are the perfect canvas for some of my favorite colors, prints, and icons. Plus, they’re a lot easier to tote around than a sofa.
Do you do all the designing yourself?
I have fantastic team of designers who I work closely with every day–we have too much fantastic stuff for me to design it all by myself.
How many times a year do you present a new collection?
There are four accessory collections–Spring, Summer, Fall, and Holiday.
You have around 20 stores globally—are the bags available in each region?
We just opened a store in Seattle earlier this month, so now there are 24 stores in the U.S. and one in London. They’re all adorable and I exhort everyone to travel the globe and visit them all.
Do you sell your handbags outside of your own store?
You can snap up the fashion accessories at Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus and Shopbop.
Having started out as a potter, do you think it’s wild that you can now find Jonathan Adler stationery?
When I first started out, my idea of success was hawking my wares at some rain-soaked craft fair. My entire career has been a surprising creative odyssey, and I’m so lucky to be able to do what I love every day.
Is there a limit to what you would put your name on?
A casket company came calling once. As I enter my dotage, it felt a little too morbid. I passed (not literally).
How has your experience been as an author? What’s been the most rewarding part about publishing a book?
The most rewarding part of publishing a book is finishing it. I’m just glad people want to read my ramblings and look at photos that I think are rad and inspiring.
Any plans to expand into ready-to-wear?
We’ve collaborated with Lacoste and 7 For All Mankind in the past, and just did a collection of sunglasses with TOMS. I generally operate with a “never say never” philosophy.