Thursday, June 18, 2015

Jonathan Adler on Design Philosophy, Breaking the Rules, and The Power of Choice

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By Leslie Hicks, CMF (Color Material Finish) Trend Analyst at Motorola

Leslie Hicks: At Motorola, we believe in the importance of expressing your own personal style however and wherever you’d like — especially when it comes to your most personal style icons like your watch and smartphone.

And quite frankly, we may have found our spirit animal in Jonathan Adler, famed NYC-based potter and designer who’s known for his bold, irreverent designs.

As a designer committed to the idea of creating unique styles and trailblazing decor, Jonathan Adler has more in common with Motorola than you’d think. Adler even handed over the design reigns to his customers with his Design Your Own pillows, rugs and throws feature, and we couldn’t help but notice the customization similarities to our own Moto Maker and just how important the ability to put a personal touch on the Moto 360 is to our consumers. We’re thrilled to have Jonathan joining us today to talk a bit about the power of creativity, individuality and of course, choice.

LH: Can you tell us a little about your history? How did you get to where you are today?

Jonathan Adler: I am actually a potter first and foremost. I first tried clay at summer camp when I was 13, and it’s all I wanted to do ever since. I spent my entire time at Brown University taking pottery classes at the Rhode Island School of Design, then moved to New York. I got my first order in 1993 from Barneys and I’ve been on a surreal creative odyssey ever since. I’m a restless designer, and the more I make the more I want to make.

LH: In your own words, what is the true power of design?

JA: We live in an anything-goes world. Life’s too short to look back and see an endless haze of beige, so I exhort people to do what makes them feel even more stylish and glamorous than they already are without worrying about “rules.” Your style should speak to who you are (or at least who you wish you were!).

LH: Tell us a little about your design philosophy at Jonathan Adler.

JA: Absolutely! It’s actually twofold: build a timelessly chic foundation, then accessorize with abandon. I want everything I make to communicate a spirit of Modern American Glamour. That’s why I love all the customization options in Moto Maker. Our phones and watches are our most constant accessories, so it’s about time they reflected our personal styles.

LH: I’m thrilled to hear you say that actually because that’s how we feel at Moto! You’ve had a chance to play in the Moto Maker sandbox a bit. What were some of your favorite aspects of it?

JA: I love all of the different color and texture combinations that Moto Maker offers for the Moto X. There’s a classic summer white or a modern wood back; a 70s-inspired matte green or a rich, golden leather. And with the additional options for trim and case customization, your Moto X can truly be yours.

LH: We couldn’t agree more! Speaking of colors and textures, what trends should consumers look out for this summer and fall? Any favorites catching your eye?

JA: Grey is the neutral du jour. And people are embracing wallpaper again (as they should). And when it comes to metals, it’s brass, brass, brass – you’d be mad not to surround yourself with gold tones. But, with so many unique trends happening on the streets and on the runways, now is a great time for all tastes in the design and fashion world.

LH: Thank you so much for your time, Jonathan. Any parting words?JA: When it comes to style, I invite you to be bold. Be colorful. Be glam. And most importantly, be you.

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