Jonathan Adler has built one of the most iconic interiors brands in the industry, and this season, he returns to his roots in Soho opening a new flagship called Atelier Adler (382 West Broadway) between Spring and Broome streets. “It’s really an incredible new thing for us and great to be in New York City,” he shares. “I am thrilled to be part of what I hope is a huge rebirth of Soho.” Here, we check in with the profoundly prolific potter for his daily design.
WAKE-UP TIME: 7:30AM
UNIQUE TALENT: I can speak backwards. It might mean something is wrong with my brain, but I’ve always sort of seen words backwards.
WEAKNESS: Baked goods
AESTHETIC: Modern American glamour. Modern because it is fresh and new. American because to me—as a huge patriot—I think the spirit of America is about optimism. And I think my work is grounded in American design and American optimism. And I say glamour because I hope to create it.
UNIFORM: White jeans, silver Stan Smiths, Thom Browne sweater
CHERISHED ACCESSORY: I think I’ve always thought of my husband as a cherished accessory. Maybe it’s his size.
YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH: Simon Doonan
WORKOUT: Like a teenage athlete, compulsively, aggressively, not terribly peacefully. So I’m not a yoga or Pilates guy; I’m a ‘lift weights and run’ guy—at least an hour a day, or else I go insane.
LAST MEAL: Fried chicken and apple pie. As I said, I am an American.
FAVORITE MOVIE: A ’90s movie called Safe directed by Todd Haynes
MENTOR: I’ve never had a mentor. I’ve had a series of tormentors who have been wildly helpful to me by telling me I can’t do things.
“We’ve taken over a whole building, and we have my design office on the mezzanine, our corporate offices on the lower level, and on the main level is a retail store and my pottery studio,” Adler says of the new space.
STYLE ICON: A young David Hockney
BEST ADVICE: I hate good advice. I guess the only good advice I’ve ever gotten is for a job: Show up 10 minutes early and leave 10 minutes later than you’re supposed to.
MANTRA: If your heirs won’t fight over it, we won’t make it.
CATCHPHRASE: Always telling my poor, long-suffering operatives ‘more, more and more.’ I’m endlessly restless, hungry, curious and wanting more, more and more all the time.
CURRENT OBSESSION: Contemporary country music
FAVORITE APP: Pinterest
FAVORITE SNACK: My favorite snack is more! I snack constantly—more, more, more—hence the working out like a high school athlete.
SOULMATE: My husband of almost 30 years, Simon Doonan. He’s obviously the one—but there’s a close second, which is our dog, FoxyLady.
BEDSIDE READING: Right now I’m reading Stefan Zweig, Beware of Pity. I appear to be a superficial, plucky designer, but I have the soul of a brooding, pessimistic, Kafka-esque intellectual.
THEME SONG TO YOUR LIFE: ‘Eye of the Tiger.’ We used to listen to it before our high school tennis matches to get pumped.
Photography by: PHOTOS BY ETHAN BARBER