Jonathan Adler and his husband, Simon Doonan, didn't have much in common back in 1993 when they first met — or so they thought. But an eye for style and a passion for creativity were enough to persuade each of them to meet for a date. The two were set up by a mutual friend — one who would be shocked to learn that they are still together, the pair told Yahoo Lifestyle recently.
Adler made a grand entrance to their first date on a warm November day, wearing Rollerblades and a trench coat splattered with clay, recalls Doonan, who sat waiting in his tailored suit, unfazed, at a restaurant in New York City.
At the time, Adler was a trendy, upcoming potter who had just begun selling his pieces at luxury department store Barneys, where Doonan was the executive vice president.
The two had very different ideas of "first-date etiquette" and did not hit it off initially, they recall. According to Adler, Doonan was "very monosyllabic and quite disengaged," to which Doonan responds today, "It's a cultural thing."
Still, after an interesting first date, the two ended up hitting it off, despite their glaring differences. Doonan called Adler for a second date, and things started to heat up romantically. They both bonded over shared interests in outdoor activities and more importantly, a similar sense of humor.
Now, in addition to this being the couple's 24th year together, 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the Jonathan Adler business. In celebration, he's designed an exclusive line for Barneys New York and has taken over its housewares section on Madison Avenue; the line includes products, from pottery to furniture to wall art, that are exclusive to the department store.
Barneys was the first store to order Adler’s pottery, in 1993, and 25 years later he’s returning to where it all began. It's also where Doonan got his start. He started as a window dresser for Barneys in 1986 and is now its creative ambassador-at-large.
Doonan is also gearing up to star as a judge on the new NBC crafting competition show, Making It, where he will star alongside Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, and Etsy trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson.
And the couple, meanwhile, continues to creatively inspire one another through all of their professional endeavors, with a ton of laughs along the way.