Anthropologie's Lead Buyer Keith Johnson Gets His Own TV Show & Featured In Elle Decor

wAs head buyer for Anthropologie, Keith Johnson travels the world buying beautiful objects to stock and furnish at retailer Anthropologie. For the past few months these expeditions to Scotland, Syria, Thailand, and Africa have been recorded. Keith now has a show that will be airing Wednesdays at 10 P.M. on the Sundance Channel. 

Keith Johnson is also featured in the August Issue Of Elle Decor.
Keith's Johnson Q&A With Elle Decor.

What’s the one object you regret having passed up?
I’m normally very confident I can get the best deal, but one day I went into a warehouse in the South of France; they had these enormous mirrors from a patisserie. One was 25 feet long—it was the most spectacular thing. It didn’t immediately occur to me which store I could put it in, but I thought, I’m fine, there’s no rush. So I sent photos to our architects and learned the mirrors would be perfect for the store opening in Rockefeller Center [in New York City]. It wasn’t a day later that I called and the vendor said that five minutes after I left someone bought all of the mirrors. You do take your chances.
What collectible do you never want to see again?
I’m really over things painted white. If it’s an original finish, then fine. Every antique dealer in the world thinks that all you need to do is paint it white and it will be great.
Weirdest thing you ever brought home on a plane?
Hmm. Of course, no one is allowed to bring anything weird back on an airplane anymore—so I think I have to pass on that one.
What’s a good value these days?
It’s hard to find a bargain anymore because in this world everything sells—unless it’s butt ugly. So you really need to be open to quirky, very personal objects if you want to get things that are not expensive. Concentrate on finding things you think are truly beautiful—things you respond to.
What can’t you resist?
I love anything mechanical, like old drafting tables. Whenever a drafting table has something exotic about it or has a crazy mechanism, I can’t resist. They’re at once industrial- and contemporary-looking—and all the gears! They bring out the little boy in me.


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