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tips from the color guru

jonathan adler was kind enough to answer a few quick questions for me (including his favorite color combos) on injecting color and personality into your home. you can read the full piece right here- as always he's full of great quips and a few thoughts on sanjaya's ponyhawk.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Grace! I heart Jonathan sooo much! Reading this made my day!

8:09 AM  
Anonymous zee homebug said...

Cool! I love his attitude to design. I just found out yesterday that a store in Ireland has started stocking Monsieur Adler's stuff and I'd been excitedly persuing his website today, so your interview is a total treat.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He has become such a caricature of himself I can't even take him seriously anymore...

8:30 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

ohmigod, love that man.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im over him....I think most people are.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the issue is that-yes Jonathan we all know it is an act-the poofy decorator-ha, ha-it was funny for about 5 minutes, but I think it is time to move on-unless it isn't an act and it is for real?

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Let's Hear It for Nice People said...

What if it WAS for real? Would it be so horrible to find out that someone was honestly bubbly and happy? It seems like you guys want everyone in design to be angry and snarky.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous d said...

.......or maybe we just need a break from seeing and hearing about him-overexposed much!?!!!!

1:31 PM  
Anonymous big yawn said...

I'd be bubbly and happy too if my rich, media-savvy, fashion-influential husband singlehandedly financed and promoted my one-trick-pony design career. There are only so many ways to glaze that one pot before it gets old. although i see that it's wallpaper now.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Carol said...

Whether or not you enjoy Jonathan's style, personality or work, I think it's ill-informed to suggest that Simon Doonan single-handedly made his career. I don't enjoy Mr. Doonan in general but it's far beyond one man's reach to build a household name like Adler's.

There's a reason Jonathan's work is borderline (or already) overexposed these days- people like it and the work is both attrative and made well. To deny that there's actual skill behind his popularity is to overlook the craft of ceramicists in favor of petty swipes.

I myself am a ceramicist (for over 20 years) and find it highly offensive that people think that this craft is easy or that it's a matter of money to make an industry buy and support as much of someone's work as Jonathan's.

I've been buying Mr. Adler's work for over 10 years and I can tell you the work speaks for itself. Yes, some of us are sick of seeing him, but that doesn't mean that his success was undeserved or manufactured by his partner.

It's petty and stupid to make claims like the one above. And I wish D*S wouldn't run comments like that.


3:48 PM  
Anonymous not fooling me said...

It could be real and not an act, but maybe only the bubbly and happy part. Most people in the industry know the snarky and {sneaky} part is real. Newbie designers note, someone from JA enterprises will knock on your door if you have an original idea that Mr. Adler thinks is just great, he will want you to produce it for him and then coopt the idea as his own original thought or creation. All Adler fans in New York should venture down to a little shop on Hudson street called The End of History-you would swear you were in a JA boutique. But, I guess you would call it "inspiration".

4:01 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

"not fooling"

if you could leave some examples that would be great. you know my stance on thinly veiled accusations of copying.

you mention young designers having been ripped off. if you could leave some names and links that would be appreciated.

otherwise the remarks will be left unsubstantiated and i will ask readers to consider them as such.


4:10 PM  
Anonymous Lucy Gazelle said...

Great work, d*s, both in the interview and in moderating the comments. Let the 'back it up, back it up' begin!

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the name of the boutique is enough d*s....why don't you scoot on over to 'End of History' on Hudson St and check it out, then let us know what you think. What more examples do you need, the comment was backed by detailed info as well as the boutique that is in NY....oh you live in NY,no?


11:01 AM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

sorry, it's not dana.

you mentioned that young designers are being ripped off by jonathan adler and if you're going to make a claim like that you should be able to provide names and examples, not just the name of a store. it's not my job to back up your claim, it's yours.


11:06 AM  
Anonymous Kathryn said...

I have to chime in- I don't have ties to the Adler company and I haven't even bought one of his pieces before but I think it's just mean to accuse someone of something without facts.

The name of a store isn't detailed information. It just sounds like you've got "issues" with Mr. Adler.

I appreciate D*S's attempts to clear this up but I hope that these will be removed if no concrete evidence can be provided.


11:15 AM  
Anonymous anon-the other one said...

The claim was not that Mr. Adler clearly ripped off any young designer directly. What seems to happen with JA is that he takes over a particular item or category as his own, because he is a fan IE: Kelly Wearstler's look, Alexander Girard's style, George Nelson's lanterns-the inspiration is not a direct rip off, but the JA publicuty machine puts it out there and markets it, and then everyone thinks that JA was the first to do it. This is what I meant. I know that other manufacturers in the gift/home world have been approached to make private label items for them and have refused for fear of JA taking over the category, like he did it first-so I was not saying he directly copied anyone-it's more conceptual. I know, you will say-well may the best designer win, but it just seems to happen a lot with JA and I think a lot of consumers are fooled, which is fine if they don't know the original source material-most people do not care-look at the success of West Elm.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, ok it's not your job hun, but I guess readers will go find out for themselves then. What do you want, encyclopedia-like details?


8:52 AM  
Blogger design*sponge said...


any details at all would be great. vague claims of copying are taken seriously at d*s. if you'd like to throw out things like that you should be able to give us a few examples.


9:19 AM  
Anonymous from someone else who had it so "easy" said...

You can call me on my bias, but that's only because I have actual experience and not just conjecture to back up my claims. I've been fortunate enough to have some advantages in life, but anytime I succeed at something, someone is always there to point out that it must've been easier for me for one reason or another.

I have had the pleasure of meeting both Jonathan and Simon Doonan in person. You couldn't ask for two more fun, quick-witted, and genuinely sweet people. Their dog, not so much. But I digress. They 100% deserve to own their successes, as they do their failures. C'mon people.

A response to some of the hateful comments said above: I think you set out to condemn Jonathan Adler because his alleged advantages made his success so "easy." Perhaps you think, if only I had it that easy, I would be as successful as he. Truth is, there is ALWAYS someone who had it "easier" than you. Condemning other people for it is one of the surefire easiest jobs in the world. So, you can keep your easy job, OR GET TO WORK on building your own success. Just be careful, because if you get there, there will always be more people just itching to discredit you.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These kind of snarky, jealous comments about JA just make me sad. JA on his own made pottery mainstream chic. That is a pretty amazing, not to mention wildly improbable, accomplishment.

12:36 PM  
Blogger CircleALine said...

I'm a designer at Jonathan Adler and I have a couple of things to clear up.

One, there is no "publicity machine." We do have an in-house PR person to field media inquiries. That's just business, not an international conspiracy.

Two, I'm writing in on my own because I am a huge d*s fan. Neither Jonathan nor our PR person know I'm writing in, so I'm not claiming to speak on behalf of Jonathan or the company... it's just that I found the following comment particularly troubling:

Newbie designers note, someone from JA enterprises will knock on your door if you have an original idea that Mr. Adler thinks is just great, he will want you to produce it for him and then coopt the idea as his own original thought or creation.

Because without knowing it, you are blaming me too. If someone feels they have been unfairly treated or taken advantage of... it's only right that they reveal themselves so we can review what happened and make things right. I've been racking my brain trying to figure it out and honestly can't imagine what would have happened to make someone accuse us in that way.

And three, please remember that even though you are writing anonymously on a blog and even though Jonathan may seem to you just a character on tv, you are still talking about real people with real feelings.

Thanks Grace, for all the amazing things you do. I can't believe you just turned only 26.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't think adler has ever claimed to invent anything tho i'd say he sorta reinvented the potters wheel. seems to me he's been pretty forthcoming about his influences (read his manifesto)

i think design is a dialogue and if he reinterprets an idea in a new way that speaks to people then good for him. his refrences have only made me appreciate those designers he clearly admires.

did george nelson make his lamps into pottery? no
did george nelson get his inspiration from japanese lanterns? yeah
is anyone logging on to call nelson a hack? hell, no

ps. i went to the adler sample sale this morning. if you aren't -over- him then you should definitly go. esp. if you're a fan like me but a bit lean in the wallet. i got a bunch of vases for 10 to 15 bucks and there was this huge long table of woven pillows and needelpoint for $20 ea. the line was crazy but i couldn't help myself. can you say kid in a candy store???

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a big Jonathan fan. I've loved his pottery for years. I just read that he's also designed a frame line. I'm adding that to my "gotta have" list. In my opinion, he's found a way to make a great living doing what he loves - I can't find fault with that.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the article about the frames too, very cool - it's in Elle Decor. It said he worked with the framing company Larson-Juhl to design them. I need to find some art asap!

9:52 PM  

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