Coming off of some great Fashion Week programming, the Sundance Channel will be debuting another exciting series on Wednesday, October 7th at 10pm ET/PT. This is a new eight part original series called “Man Shops Globe” where cameras followed Keith Johnson, the buyer at large for innovative specialty retailer Anthropologie, as he traveled everywhere from flea markets in Paris to cafes in South Africa.
Johnson, who is charged with giving Anthropologie stores their eclectic flair, is always searching – preferably, he says, with friends – for the most intriguing decorative objects, furniture, and textiles he can get his hands on. He enlists, along the way, the help of local experts and artists who springboard much of his inspiration. Each episode is centered around a specific location, beginning with Paris where Johnson heads to flea markets and antique stores (where he notes there is frantic competition for many of the best finds and, of course, finds that price becomes an issue), in order to get his hands on large-scale furniture for existing Anthropologie stores and for the new locations that will soon open in the U.K.
Below is the episode lineup for “Man Shops Globe” as well as a short description provided by the Sundance Channel.
Wednesday, October 7th
Episode 1: France – Anthropologie is in need of large-scale furniture for existing stores and for the new locations that will soon open in the U.K. Keith sets out for France to the flea markets and antique stores that are reliably filled with sizeable pieces. But as soon as they hit the fabled Paris flea market, it’s clear that price is going to be a major stumbling block. They leave Paris for the theoretically more affordable hunting grounds of Provence, where the goods are gorgeous and the competition from other dealers is fierce.
Wednesday, October 15th
Episode 2: South Africa – Keith is looking for African artists whose work feels fresh and exciting on his latest trip to South Africa, and he has asked his African agent Trevyn McGowan to lead him to “anything different, anything unusual.” Trevyn suggests focusing on ceramics, one of South Africa’s major strengths, and she has places in mind in Capetown and Johannesburg. As they drive from one stop to the next, they make unexpected discoveries at roadside workshops and even at a small café. The final stop is Magpie, a renowned studio in Barrydale that is pushing the envelope in high-end recycled design. Back home, Keith curates a gallery exhibition at Anthropologie’s Rockefeller Center location.
Wednesday, October 22nd
Episode 3: Turkey –Keith heads to Turkey in search of unique and inspiring Asian textiles and fabrics. He is joined by a contingent of Anthropologie colleagues, as well as one of his agents and a translator. They have just three days to find their quarry, and begin their hunt at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, the world’s oldest operating bazaar. There is no shortage of beautiful and special textiles, but their expense means that Keith must find a clever way to re-purpose the fabrics as affordable, appealing merchandise. It’s a task that will require a Turkish artisan with skills, knowledge and connections.
Wednesday, October 29th
Episode 4: Holland/Belgium – Modernist décor is big in retailing, but the often austere style has been a tough sell at Anthropologie, where pretty, inviting pieces are the norm. Hoping to finesse an Anthropologie version of Modern, Keith heads to Holland and Belgium. There, he’s joined by a former colleague, Leslie Oschmann, who has established her design studio, Swarm Home, in Amsterdam. Their scouting takes them to various spots, including a top Dutch collector and the Eindhoven Design Academy, where the annual student design show is filled with wild and wonderful ideas. In Antwerp, Belgium, they visit one of Keith’s favorite craftsman’s workshops, located across from a graffiti park, and that juxtaposition of old and new leads to the fresh idea Keith’s been looking for.
Wednesday, November 4th
Episode 5: India – With several new Anthropologie stores in need of home décor pieces, India is a logical but problematic hunting ground; it offers a plethora of goods, but many of them may be overly familiar. Searching for the unique and different, Keith travels from Delhi to Mumbai to Jodhpur as he visits his favorite antique dealer, public bazaars, and a company that recycles wooden railroad ties. Along the way, he finds inspiration in random sights and objects, some of which become the foundation for new, one-of-a-kind pieces.
Wednesday, November 11th
Episode 6: U.K. – Keith takes off for the U.K. in search of objects to inspire the designer team that is developing Anthropologie’s upcoming home collection. He is joined by the retailer’s Visual Director, Kristin Norris, whose design tastes are quite unlike Keith’s. They start off with a visit to one of Keith’s longtime suppliers in Sussex, and find themselves racing the clock to make it back to London for the start of Battersea, the city’s biggest antiques fair. Subsequent visits to an idiosyncratic props dealer and a young textile artist offer more food for thought – and for purchase.
Wednesday, November 18th
Episode 7: Tunisia – Eternally on the hunt for new things and new places, Keith makes his first trip to Tunisia. After a ramble through the Old Souk of Tunis, Keith goes in search of the artisans responsible for the more intriguing objects. Keith visits an olive wood carving workshop in Sfax, Tunisia’s leading prayer mat designer in Nabeul, a glass-blowers co-op in Saliman and glass artist Sadika Keskes’ high-end studio in Hammamet.
Wednesday, November 25th
Episode 8: Argentina – On vacation, yet incapable of not searching for unusual goods, Keith is compelled to visit the Breuer Moreno Auction House in Buenos Aires. In the Palermo area, he combs through the offerings at a flea market, checks in with his favorite fabric merchant, who sells hand-loomed pieces from remote parts of the country, and takes in two stores specializing in 20th Century pieces. After some serendipitous stops in the San Telmo region, he heads for his last destination, the Avellandra district studio of etched crystal artist Raul Vidal.