Iconic potter, designer, author, and personality Jonathan Adler is dedicated to bringing style, craft and joy to your life.
Adler launched his first ceramic collection in 1994 at Barneys New
York. Five years later he expanded into home furnishings, opening his
first namesake boutique in Manhattan.
Jonathan Adler now has over 20 stores worldwide, a thriving e-commerce
site, and a wholesale business boasting over 1,000 locations globally.
While remaining committed to ceramic design, Jonathan has now grown far
beyond the potter’s wheel to become an internationally recognized
design brand offering decorative objects, tabletop collections, bedding,
bath accessories, gifts, candles, furniture, rugs, pillows, lighting,
and most recently handbags.
Jonathan’s creativity is fueled by various sources of inspiration:
Mid-century modern, art and global pop culture combine to create the
signature Adler aesthetic. The company prides itself on its ability to
combine a serious design philosophy with a colorful sense of optimism.
The guiding motto, “If your heirs won’t fight over it, we won’t make
it,” reflects Jonathan’s commitment to impeccable craftsmanship and
In addition to designing furniture and a variety of products, Jonathan
has collaborated with many notable brands. In 2004 Jonathan redesigned
the iconic California hotel, the Parker Palm Springs. In 2009 Mattel
called upon Jonathan to design the modern-glam interiors for the “real”
BarbieTM Dream House in celebration of Barbie’s 50th anniversary. He
designed Starbucks’ 2010 (RED)™ card and mug which directly benefit The
Global Fund, and in 2011 Jonathan was selected as LACOSTE’s 6th Annual
Collector’s series artist. In 2012 Jonathan collaborated with Kravet to
create an exclusive collection of fabrics and partnered with The Rug
Company on a collection; each partnership reflects his colorful approach
to design and love of craftsmanship.
Jonathan is the author of four books, including My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living and the Happy Chic book series: Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic Colors and Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic Accessories. Jonathan’s latest book in the series, 100 Ways to Happy Chic Your Life, was published in November 2012.
He lives in New York City with his partner, Barneys Creative Ambassador Simon Doonan and their Norwich Terrier Liberace.
1966 - Born in farm town in New Jersey.
1978 - Tries pottery at summer camp while wearing a Rush concert tee.
1979 - Begs parents to buy him a wheel and kiln.
1980-84 - Spends entire adolescence in basement of family’s modern house throwing pots.
1984-88 - Allegedly studies semiotics and art history at Brown but actually spends all his time at
RISD making pots.
1989 - Makes quilted line of pottery inspired by Chanel. Evil professor advises him to bag pottery
and try a career in law.
1990 - Moves to New York and starts working at a talent agency.
1993 - Deeply depressed from three long years in the movie business (as anyone would be),
quits and returns to the studio to recuperate. Tells parents he wants to be a potter and
vows never to have a real job again. Concerned parents schedule an intervention.
1994 - Shows pots to Barneys and gets an order. Realizes he has to make the pots.
1995-96 - Orders pour in. Time to make the donuts.
1997 - At wit’s end from making the donuts, hooks up with Aid to Artisans, a non-profit organization
which helps artisans in developing countries to make products for the American market.
Flies to Peru and discovers paradise - a beautiful workshop by the sea with parrots and
gardens and incredible artisans, creative explosion ensues.
1998 - Opens a store in Soho.
1999 - Adopts (with his partner Simon Doonan) a Norwich terrier named Liberace who is the
light of their lives.
2000 - Millennium madness. Luckily Y2K has no impact on pottery wheels.
2001 - Bicoastal! Opens store in Los Angeles. Fervently hopes the cast of Friends will stop by. They don’t.
2002 - Launches a glamorous new furniture collection and takes on interior design projects. Starts fondling
swatches as well as clay. Liberace turns three.
2003 - Develops raging obsession with waspy country club style - needlepoint, chinoiserie and acid green
lacquer. Concerned Jewish mother schedules another intervention.
2004 - Creative odyssey continues. Branches out into new categories - bedding, towels, stationery and designs
The Parker Palm Springs hotel. Finds it increasingly difficult to make time to watch Law and Order.
2005 - Opens stores in Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, and on Madison Avenue (oodles of frequent flyer
miles). Wildly expands furniture line with even more glamorous upholstered groups and casegoods.
Writes first design book. Jewish mother proud, but Liberace remains aloof – he is, after all, a terrier...
2006 - Turns 40. Reluctantly relinquishes ingénue status. Suddenly needlepoint obsession becomes less
ironic & more age appropriate.
2007 - Reality TV! Joins the Bravo family as lead judge on Top Design. Wanders the streets in outfits
borrowed from the TV show hoping to be recognized. Alas.....
2008 - Gets hitched to Simon... hopes his civil right to marriage will be upheld.
2009 - More stores, more stuff, more fun. Tapped to design a real life Malibu Dream House to celebrate
Barbie’s 50th. Can finally make amends for decapitating sister’s Barbie in 1974.
2010 - Proud Mary keeps on rolling. Despite gnarly economy, spreads Happy Chic message with two new
books, a bunch of new stores, and a slew of life-enhancing designs. Liberace (12 years old!) barks at
2011 - Selected to be Lacoste’s 6th Annual Holiday Collector’s Series artist, opened first international store
in London with aim of world-wide domination . . .
2012 - Launches fabric line with Kravet and continues global take over with stores in Minneapolis, Dallas,
Georgetown, Austin, Westport and more....
2013 - New launches include fashion accessories, men’s neckwear, bath & body and more. World domination
continues with the addition of a Houston store and a second location in London. Cheerio!