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Jonathan Adler’s style secrets

Design superstar Jonathan Adler shares the stories behind a few of his very favourite things
David Cook

On a recent trip to Australia we caught up with Jonathan Adler, whose wonderful work is stocked exclusively at Coco Republic.



“The ‘Giant Lucite Hand’ sculpture is one of my favourite pieces because it’s one of my newest. It’s a perfect embodiment of what design should be, which is memorable, eccentric, surprising and, I hope, beautifully proportioned. My motto is, ‘If your heirs won’t fight over it, we won’t make it’ and the hand is a perfect example. If your grandmother owned one and snuffed it, I think you’d get into a fight with your siblings over it.”

“Foxylady is our new rescue dog. She is so cute and sweet and ladylike. Before Foxylady we had a little bloke – a Norwich terrier – who had the unblokeish name of Liberace. He was such a little dude, so having this demure, coquettish creature in our lives has been a delight! I’m obsessed with her.”

“The ‘Maxime’ chair actually captures a lot of what I try to do as a designer. Funnily enough, people think I’m a maximalist designer – that I’m over-the-top – but I’m really a minimalist. In my design, I strive to use an economy of gesture to communicate my point. I think this chair is light, lithe, minimalist and très chic.”

(Credit: Albert Sanchez)

“Twenty-one years later, my husband [Simon Doonan] continues to be the most surprising, wittiest, sweetest person on earth. I pray to God he doesn’t read this because I’d never say that to his face! He’s a Brit, so, like Aussies, he can take a ribbing. I’m very lucky to have met and married him because even though I’m a Jewish kid from New Jersey, I’m actually more Australian at heart because all we do is tease each other. Americans don’t typically do that, but that’s how we roll.”   

“Eau Palm Beach [in Florida] is my most recent hotel project and I love the hotel because it’s design in context. Palm Beach is one of those places that captures modern American glamour and I like to think I managed to capture exactly that on this project.”

“I have about 40 pairs of skinny white Uniqlo jeans. They’re the only pants I own: weddings, funerals, country clubs, black tie. It makes my life incredibly easy. If they ever stop making them, I don’t know what I’ll do; I think I’ll walk into oncoming traffic, such is my commitment. I’ve been wearing white jeans exclusively for eight years. Uniqlo and I started our affair about three years ago and it’s going strong.”

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