Jonathan Adler

June is Pride Month–dedicated to celebrating the diversity of the LGBTQ community, honoring its history and host to some of the most wild, colorful parades around the world. This year, we’re asking just some of the many out and inspiring individuals in the fashion and design industries what the month means to them.

No stranger to The Thread, the affable potter, designer, author and founder of his eponymous enterprise Jonathan Adler shares his perspective on Pride and what he’s seen in the New York LGBTQ community after over 25 years living in the city.


In a nutshell, what’s a normal day like for you?

There is no normal day. I’ll go from making a mold on the wheel in the pottery studio to a meeting with our president about a new store opening to a brainstorm session with our marketing team to come up with subject lines for our emails. I’m lucky to work with such fun and talented people.

After work, I race home to have dinner, read, watch TV and beat my husband at Ping-Pong.

What’s your first memory of celebrating Pride Month?

I moved to New York in 1989 in the middle of the AIDS crisis, and Pride was an incredibly poignant and powerful moment. I moved here hoping to find creative fulfillment and amour and excitement, but it was all happening against the backdrop of AIDS. There was a lot of laughter and a lot of tears. My favorite part of Pride weekend was the transcendental (even spiritual?) Dance on the Pier.




Designer Jonathan Adler teams up with Blake Mycoskie of TOMS for a second whimsical collaboration of shoes—and helps print-loving ladies complete the look with the introduction of sunnies. As we excitedly step into spring, The Thread chats with the New York-based potter on this latest partnership.


TOMS ‘Classic – Jonathan Adler’ Slip-On (top to bottom) in:
Grey, Bright Yellow, Bright Print and Dark Geometric




Crafty. Colorful. Chic. Jonathan Adler’s whimsical home decor and accessory designs are the type of gifts you’ll want to both give and receive. The Thread asks the famed potter to unwrap his secrets on how he celebrates Christmas in style.



Jonathan Adler

“I believe that chic should be accessible, and the key to achieving accessibility is injecting your personality. My antidote to tired tastefulness is to lay the foundation of good decorating and then punctuate with a dash of levity. Just a dash!”

Last Friday, the charming and witty Jonathan Adler—home-décor and interior designer extraordinaire—stopped by our Seattle flagship store to meet his fans and introduce his two new books on achieving home décor with personality, Happy Chic Accessorizing and Happy Chic Colors.

We wanted to know more about his unique take on interior design and how to become a little more “Happy Chic” ourselves. Before meeting his many fans eagerly awaiting his appearance, Adler sat down with us to answer a few questions about his work and aesthetic.

What is “Happy Chic,” and can it transcend décor into a lifestyle, or way of dressing, etc.?
Absolutely. “Happy Chic” is about creating an environment that is unimpeachably chic and luxurious and gorgeous but has an element of levity. Its spirit can be translated in décor and in life. It’s basically just a reminder to be fab and be bold and be memorable in everything that you do.

Your Design Manifesto lists a number of your muses. What do they have in common that inspires you?
When I think about my muses, and I have many, sort of the holy trinity of muses for me is Bonnie Cashin, Alexander Girard and Bjørn Windblad—all of whom were designers who had really idiosyncratic spirits evident in all of their work. And they all made stuff that was of beautiful, impeccable quality and design. The thing they have in common is that their work expresses the joy of design.

And I’ve never said no to Ruben Toledo either. Love him. He’s a friend, and I’m a huge fan. He’s so brilliant.

Color and changing décor can be scary. What are two baby steps someone could take right now to incorporate a little “Happy Chic” into his or her home?

Baby steps for adding color are a throw pillow—because I think pillows are perfect punctuation—and a powder room. I think powder rooms are great, because they should be bold and a little surprising and a little trippy. So whether it be lacquering it red or doing a wild wallpaper, a powder room is a great place to start, and you won’t be able to stop. You’ll find that happy color and pattern has an infectious spirit.

It’s my belief that at the end of the day when you’re about to snuff it, you want to look back and remember the bright-orange breakfast nook rather than a beige-on-beige nothing.

What’s your favorite accessory in your home?
[Gasps.] My husband and my dog.