High Country: Jonathan Adler drops a chic cannabis capsule collection
When I first relocated from New York City to Denver in 2007, my mother sent me a set of Jonathan Adler jars as a housewarming gift. The five colorful, porcelain canisters are each adorned with the words “peroxide,” “uppers,” “downers,” “prozac” and “ganja” and have since survived many moves. Still a part of the modern-day design icon’s signature Vices Collection, they sit on my kitchen counter today and spark a smile every time I take out a scoop of flour, sugar or coffee.
The self-described “aesthetic libertine” has played with cannabis and its lexicon (plus many more substances) long before legalization made it in vogue in his ceramics pieces (all handcrafted in his SoHo studio) and objets d’art for the home. With seven flagship stores across the country and one in London along with an interior design client roster filled with celebrities, Adler is a pioneer on how to make marijuana look chic in mainstream culture.
Now, the potter, designer and author is further celebrating the plant with a just-dropped capsule collection in collaboration with Higher Standards, a luxury cannabis lifestyle company with two brick-and-mortar locations and an online boutique.
Just in time for Mother’s Day (depending on if your mom is as cool as mine), I caught up with Adler to go behind the design of the new line, which includes ash trays, catchalls, coasters and stash boxes in two motifs: Hashish and Smolder.
Aspen Times Weekly: How did you first come together with Higher Standards?
Jonathan Adler: When Higher Standards approached me about working together, all it took was one look at who they are and what they do to realize they’re not like the head shops of yore.
They’re irreverent and glamorous, two things I try to express in my work.
ATW: Why the longtime celebration of, as you call them, “life’s little helpers” in your work?
JA: While I think everything I make is unimpeachably chic, it’s often also a reflection and commentary on culture — good, bad and other. As our culture gets weedier, I suspect my oeuvre will reflect that.
ATW: What are your personal vices?
JA: I’m the cleanest living person on the planet. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I’m at the gym twice a day. I express my hedonistic side through design. I live clean, and decorate dirty.
ATW: Assuming that means no cannabis, too?
JA: Right. I don’t smoke, but other people sure seem to enjoy it.
ATW: Has cannabis become too trendy to be cool anymore?
JA: I don’t really pay attention to trends. I just make what I want to make and hope that people love it as much as I do.
ATW: As legalization spreads across the country, why are luxury cannabis accessories important?
JA: Pot paraphernalia used to be the antithesis of chic — pewter goblins, crystal dragons, etc. — and it’s time it got a makeover. If it’s going to sit out on your cocktail table, it might as well look good. It should be as well-designed as the rest of your home.
Katie Shapiro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @bykatieshapiro.
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