Thursday, October 1, 2009

Man Shops Globe

The Sundance Channel held a premiere party for a fantastic sounding new show featuring Keith Johnson, (show above with UK textile artist, Becky Oldfield) buyer-at-large for specialty retailer Anthropologie. The invite-only event was held at the Rockefeller Center Anthropologie Store this last Tuesday.

The show, which premieres Wednesday, October 7th, follows Mr. Johnson as he seeks out the best each country has to offer. Having been to many of his stops myself, I have to admit that he totally has my dream job - the St. Ouen Flea Market in Paris, the Kapalicarsi Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and Piet Botha's Craft Shop in Cape Town! Check out the clips of the show by clicking on the Man Shops Globe headline above or go to it looks great!

The site also offers up this as a bio for Keith, in case you like me were not familiar with his background: "Keith Johnson's passion for art, antiques and travel emerged in childhood as he accompanied his father, an art dealer, on excursions through Europe. His current role as Anthropologie's buyer-at-large is driven by Johnson's early experiences and boundless curiosity. He spends most of the year abroad in search of decorative antiques and found objects to be sold in Anthropologie stores and serve as inspiration for in-house design, as well as gifted artisans to create original works."

"Johnson's relationship with Anthropologie began in 1994 when his partner Glen Senk, now CEO of parent company Urban Outfitters Inc., became president. Senk asked Johnson to find decorative antiques and found objects for the women's lifestyle retailer's first store. As Anthropologie grew so did Johnson's responsibilities. He now acquires decorative antiques and found objects for 123 Anthropologie stores in the United States and curates the art gallery in Anthropologie's Rockefeller Center location."

In this ever shrinking world I have long had an interest in the preservation of cultures thru art and design. I think this might be the start of new awareness - however, the words "inspiration for in-house design" can be a red flag esp. when it comes to a mass merchant like Anthro.

Eitherway, I can't wait to see how it all translates in to the stores.