House & Garden | Diary of a Somebody

Jonathan Adler

The NYC designer on the importance of having a ‘work husband’

Jonathan Adler

October 29 2011
Jonathan Adler

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Normal morning. Brekkie. Gym. Pottery Studio.

I lunch with my work husband, the president of my company. He’s a dream. I call him my Pierre Bergé. To those of us in the design world, Pierre Bergé (YSL’s long-time business partner) has become a proper noun. Everyone always gives young designers the same advice – “You can have all the talent in the world, but if you want to succeed, you need to find your Pierre Bergé.” Luckily, I have found mine. We go to a new trendy restaurant called The Dutch, and whenever I go to a trendy restaurant I can never find anything to eat. I ask the waiter for the children’s menu, hoping to find something simple. He laughs. I order a cheeseburger, the most normal thing on the menu, but I am left with a cheeseburger hangover for the rest of the day.

Then I’m off to New York’s Design and Decoration Building to speak on a panel for Traditional Home magazine about “Branding and Business in the Digital Age”. My co-panellists include the divine decorator, Windsor Smith, and business visionary Peter Sallick, who created Waterworks. Whenever I do panel discussions, I am shocked by how many people leave their offices in the middle of the day to go hear a bunch of people like me pontificate. But, luckily, the room is full – and it’s always good to keep my face out there.

Dinner is at home with Simon, my niece Tanya, and Liz Lange, maternity-wear empress and my long-time bestie. It’s casual – roast chicken, brussels sprouts, apple pie. Just what a person wants to eat! Hey, chef at The Dutch – are you reading this? Yum!

I was thrilled to find the latest issue of The Spectator in my mailbox when I got home. I love The Speccie – hilarious writing, surprisingly non-doctrinaire opinion pieces, and the incomparable Deborah Ross doing film reviews. I wish there was an American magazine equivalent, but there isn’t.

Then I tuck into the new Alan Hollinghurst book called The Stranger’s Child. I read it on my Nook, the e-reader from Barnes & Noble, which I am in love with. I’m a huge Alan Hollinghurst fan – I loved The Line of Beauty and The Swimming Pool Library – but I’m not so sure about this one. I’m optimistic, but the jury is still out.

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