November 19th marks International Men’s Day, a worldwide celebration that champions the positive value men bring into the world. In addition, the event raises awareness of mental health issues, challenges harmful stereotypes and promotes wellbeing and gender equality. We take a look at the men behind some of our favourite brands…
Potter, designer and author Jonathan Adler launched his namesake brand after leaving his day job to pursue his first love: pottery. A passion he first discovered when he gave a pottery wheel a spin at summer camp when he was just twelve years old, Jonathan was later discouraged by his university professor who told him “You have no talent. Move to New York and become a lawyer.” After moving to the city to work in the entertainment business, Jonathan found himself unhappy and unfulfilled with this new career and with the pottery wheel still calling to him, Jonathan quit after three years to pursue his dream.
In 1993, Barneys bought a collection of his ceramic pots, which led to him opening his first store in New York’s Soho district five years later. Jonathan’s desire to design everything one needs to create a flawlessly chic home led to more and more and today the brand features furniture, rugs, ceramics and barware.
After graduating from the high school of Industrial Arts in 1960 and enrolling at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Calvin Klein landed his first role in fashion as a copyboy in 1961 and went on to gain his Fine Arts degree in 1963. Having worked for a company that specialised in making dresses, Klein took on a role as a sketcher for coat manufacturer Dan Milstein. In 1967, Klein was working for Halldon Ltd, a brand specialising in faux-fur coats, when he was first mentioned in the Tobe Report.
In 1968, Calvin Klein founded his first shop in the York Hotel in NYC. His collection featured a line of coats and dresses and his designs appeared on the cover of American Vogue just one year later in September 1969. Now, the Calvin Klein label is world-renowned for creating high-quality and elegant fashion designs that extend beyond the wardrobe.
One of the most renowned names in design across the world, Fornasetti’s innovate world of whimsy designs are instantly recognisable. Founded in Milan in 1940 by Piero Fornasetti, a multi-faceted artist with a relentless creative flair whose work completely transformed the 20th century decorative art scene.
Known for his application of two-dimensional art to three-dimensional form, Fornasetti modified his illustrations into striking pieces of furniture, tableware and home accessories whilst retaining a sense of humour and poetry. Carried on today by his son Barnaba, who like his father, has successfully combined artistic vision with a traditional artisan approach, each product to leave the Fornasetti atelier has been meticulously handcrafted by skilled artisans and maestros meaning each piece is entirely unique.
Matthew Williamson is renowned for his signature aesthetic of bold prints, embellishments, attention to detail and kaleidoscopic colour. His inimitable style and spirited sense of glamour has long appealed to both celebrities and industry insiders alike. A graduate of the prestigious Central Saint Martins college, the designer showed his critically acclaimed debut collection “Electric Angels” in 1997 and has been at the forefront of British design ever since.
The darling of the London fashion scene, Matthew Williamson increased his design influence further when he took over as Creative Director for Italian design house Emilio Pucci whilst still running his own brand from 2005-2008. Today, this design DNA has translated seamlessly into the world of interiors with a portfolio including Blakes Hotel and Aynhoe Park.
Branded one of London’s leading creative forces, William Yeoward has built a reputation as a style maker, retailer and designer of beautiful objects for the home. Known for his sophisticated, elevated and highly individual style, William Yeoward embarked on a career in interior design and opened his first store on the Kings Road, Chelsea in 1985. Inspired by antique crystal pieces originally made in England during the 18th, 19th and early 20th century, the William Yeoward collection features barware, decorative pieces and furniture.
After a lengthy, courageous and very valiant battle against cancer, William Yeoward passed away on Tuesday 18th June 2019. The team at William Yeoward have been entrusted with his legacy and honour his memory by continuing the work he loved so much.