In retrospect, it was only a matter of time before Jonathan Adler—the famed interior designer who revolutionized the home décor market with a quirky line of signature staples, including bedding and furniture—blazed his signature trail into the world of
fashion accessories. This spring, Adler launched a line of poppy, patterned handbags (approx. $175 to $300), which are now available for sale on his website.

Spring forward with this season’s handbags

The colourful handbag collection includes totes with rope handles (approx. $250) and bags in coated canvas or jute with leather trim (from approx. $180 to $200). Our favourite picks for spring? The canvas totes and clutches in whimsical paisley and geometric designs that recall Adler’s trademark aesthetic of boldly patterned, colour-blocked pillows and rugs.

Check out Jonathan Adler’s Spring 2012 handbag collection here.

Crafted for success

Adler’s success in the handbag realm is unsurprising—after all, there’s hardly a more prolific designer working today. For proof, take a brief scan of Adler’s design resumé, a diverse list that includes everything from Barbie’s Malibu Dream House in L.A. to limited-edition polos for Lacoste to ceramic to-go cups for Starbucks.

Circle Ornaments Tote Blue (approx. $248), at

Adler caught the design bug early. During his summer camp days, the New Jersey native became interested in pottery and spent most of his adolescence holed up in his family basement, spinning clay on his pottery wheel and baking his designs in the kiln he begged his parents to buy him. That self-imposed practicing, clearly a labour of home-baked love, paid off: After graduating from Brown University in 1988, Adler moved on to study ceramics for a year at the Rhode Island School of Design—where an unimpressed professor told him to “bag pottery”—and created his own Chanel-inspired quilted pottery line. By 1994—after working three years in show business— the childhood pottery enthusiast premiered his first line of ceramic pots at Barney’s.

Read on to find out about the quirky interior designer’s fall line…

Venerated potter

In 1998, Adler opened his first eponymous store in New York’s SoHo neighbourhood, before veering off into designing the glamorous furniture and the interior design fixings—bedding, towels, stationery—that made him a household name as much as a staple in creative households. Before turning 40 in 2006, Adler expanded his design empire, opening stores in Miami, Chicago and
San Francisco, while designing the The Parker Palm Springs Hotel in California, and penning his first design book.

Fall collection in the bag

As peripatetic as he may be, the cheeky designer—whose company motto states that “if your heirs won’t fight over it, we won’t make it”— is planning for the handbag long haul, following up his summery totes with a more neutral-toned collection come autumn.

The fall collection retains Adler’s playful panache with printed snakes, pinwheels and words like “Lust,” “Peace” and “Sparkle” in vintage fonts adorning the collection, which also includes smaller pouches and cardholders fashioned from PVC. Also new? A more substantial handbag style in chainstitch wool and cotton with leather handles and side pockets (approx. $495).

Aegan Wave Rope Tote (approx. $248), at

Given Adler’s design track record—as colourful and meandering as one of his trademark patterns—we can only imagine what unexpected ventures are already spinning on his proverbial pottery wheel. Stay tuned.

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