Breathing Life into Clay

Breathing Life into Clay
A love of form launched brand-name potter Jonathan Adler’s career. Savvy marketing and chic sensibility continue to sustain it

Jonathan Adler is living proof that, with persistence and tenacity, a passion for a certain aesthetic sensibility of yesterday can be translated into a brand vision that resonates with today’s consumers.

Obsessed with pottery since his teens, Adler’s business was sparked when he sold an initial order of pots to Barneys just over ten years ago. Today, the US-based designer’s humorous yet streamlined take on mid-century design is embodied by a wide variety of home items at all price points (from paper goods to high-end furniture to bath accessories), making the Adler aesthetic easily accessible to anyone and everyone who happens to dig it.

Who knew that a brand experience so seamlessly executed, a strategy so layered, could begin so organically? “Jonathan just started out making pots. Once we started distributing his pots and textiles to other wholesalers and retailers, we realized that we were actually building a brand,” explains Louis Marra, vice president of Jonathan Adler. “It all just sort of evolved.”

In fashionable circles, the Jonathan Adler brand has an ever-increasing omnipresence with each passing day. You might come across a Jonathan Adler boutique while strolling through a hip shopping district in a major US city, like Miami or Chicago. Or you might stay at an Adler-designed hotel in Palm Springs. You might even turn on your TV and notice an Adler pillow in a scene from the American sitcom “Will & Grace.” And you might very well find yourself perusing Jonathan Adler Happy Home products while you shop for shower curtains in home retailer Bed Bath & Beyond.

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