Is there anything sexier than Jonathan Adler standing with Blake Lively and a skinny, silver Diet Pepsi can? Why yes! Yes there is. Specifically, it's that straw that's about to lovingly be tongued by Adler, Lively, or both. At New York Fashion Week earlier this month, Simon Doonan, Adler's longtime partner and the newly appointed creative ambassador at large at Barneys, designed an installation made of the new slimmed-down cans; now, we seize the chance to speak with Adler about the straw and napkin he designed for this glamorous new side of Pepsi. So what does the interior designer who's astounded by the dearth of stylish hotels in Tampa have to say about designing these beverage accessories?
Curbed National: Tell us about the person you see using these. Which pair of lips would look more amazing then all others sipping out of that straw or blotting on that napkin?
Jonathan Adler: I was just thinking kitten-ish glamourpuss, really. I guess one always has Brigitte Barot on one's mind, doesn't one?
CN: You're a guy who designs rooms and furnishings for a living. What principles of your so-called "day job" did you apply to the Diet Pepsi straw and napkin design?
JA: I would like to think I'm now the nation's preeminent straw designer! The design of it is based on a pattern in my repertoire, and I love the Pepsi logo and I love the red-white-and-blue color scheme. It sort of seemed right; it's sort of mod, sort of glamorous. In this case we did a little nod to the Pepsi logo and the flower design.
CN: If you were to create a room based on the design and overall feel of the napkin and straw, can you briefly tell us what it would look like?
JA: Twinkly glamour with a little bit of mod moxie thrown in. I would probably see lots of Lucite, some big black-and-white photos, and little punches of red, white, and blue.
CN: What was the biggest challenge you faced with this project?
JA: There were no challenges—there was just fun. A straw and a napkin are obviously little surfaces, and it's fun to take something that one doesn't normally think about. I never never really thought about straws before, and I think that's the funnest design process one can have—asking yourself how can this be better. In some sense, that's a dream project: reinventing the everyday. My Simon is a visual genius, so the link to fashion was definitely on the mind to relate to his installation, which was so groovy. I think for both of us it was a fun folly; it's not what either of us does in our normal everyday lives.
CN: Needlepoint is a big thing of yours. You like to put words on stuff. If you could etch needlepoint into the napkin, what would it say?
JA: What would I put? Probably I would say, "Unleash your inner kitten."
· Simon Doonan Dishes on Skinny Diet Pepsi, Barneys and the Oscars [Racked National]
· Jonathan Adler Talkes David Hicks, Populism, and Tampa Hotels [Curbed National]
· All Jonathan Adler coverage [Curbed National]