It all started at summer camp at the age of 12—that's when Jonathan Adler first came into contact with clay and a pottery wheel. Over the years, making mugs and pots gave way to creating everything from pillows and rugs to sofas and side tables. Today, Adler has almost 30 retail stores—including his first in Asia, which opened last year—and two hotel projects under his belt. (His latest: a vibrant update to the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, in Florida.) Here, the designer dishes on his love for white skinny jeans, how he beats jet lag, and more.
Aisle or window?
Aisle always. I'm constantly hydrating, so that means I constantly need to … de-hydrate.
Check or carry-on?
Carry-on! I'm a zippy person and I need to be able to step off the plane and go, go, go.
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What electronics or gadgets do you always pack and why?
I'm like a toddler—I need to be entertained at all times. Kindle, iPad, laptop, phone: I've got 'em all.
One article of clothing you never leave at home?
Skinny white Uniqlo jeans. Weddings, funerals, brises, it's white jeans always. I started wearing them because they hide the clay splatter when I pot in my studio, and now they're my uniform.
How do you prepare for a long flight?
I download more movies than any human could ever possibly watch in a single lifetime, and I always have two muffins stashed in my bag—one to eat immediately and then a back up in case something goes awry with the food service on the plane. I heartily endorse a back-up baked good strategy.
What is your go-to airport outfit?
White Uniqlo jeans, Brooks Brothers Black Fleece button down, a Comme des Garçons cardigan in case I catch a chill a la an elderly grandma, and some sort of sneaker, usually an Adidas by Pharrell concoction.
What are your tips for planning a once in a lifetime trip?
Say "yes" to everything. Say yes to a hotel upgrade, say yes to a restaurant recommendation from a local.
What camera do you recommend?
I'm like a 13-year-old girl: my phone is constantly in my hand, so I use that.
What are your in-flight beauty tips?
A sleep mask and a snooze.
How do you look refreshed after a long flight?
Unfortunately, I don't think I do.
How do you fight jet lag?
A quick visit to the hotel gym limbers me back up after being crammed in like veal on a plane. And pharmaceuticals.
Favorite souvenir from your travels:
Does my hubby Simon count? I found him here, but he's British …
Favorite city to visit for shopping and design?
Tokyo is so rad. The sense of design in Japan is unparalleled, and all the clothes there are perfect for a compact individual like me.
Where are you going next?
I'm off to Asia to check out some workshops, and I'm going to be spending some time at the Amangiri in Utah soon. It's heaven.