Monday, November 9, 2015

The designer, famous among celebs for the
flower shop he launched a decade ago, on his new décor store filled with
travel-inspired wares. San Francisco doesn't need
another shop stuffed to the gills with midcentury modern, and thanks to
Jonathan Rachman, it's not getting one right now.
The designer, long known for
his noncomformist streak, is going his own way with a new cosmopolitan atelier
and store, filled with poetic collectibles and curiosities amassed during his
decades of travel, along with items from his own travel-inspired line.
Born in Sumatra, Rachman lived in several countries before opening his
flower shop Fleur't in San Francisco in 2002, which caught the attention of
celebrities like Oprah, Marc Jacobs, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Madonna.
opened Jonathan Rachman Design in 2009, decorating the interiors of mansions
and wineries throughout the Bay Area.
And on November 6, he opens J.
in the city's Mid Market neighborhood.
Here's a peek at what to expect.
What inspired you to open J.
Rachman? I wanted to bring back the romance
and charm of the old neighborhood shop.
I've designed boutique hotels,
villas and high-rise condos, winery estates, and mansions in some of the
world's most posh cities, and in various styles (modern, traditional,
transitional, and everything in between).
But this store is the core of my
labor of love: I want to share with everyone that I am a story teller, a
self-proclaimed romantic, and have a passion for collecting—so here I am.
You're known for your unique sense of style.
How will the store reflect
that? I have seen enough new stores selling reproductions, faux industrial
décor, or the same items from the same brands that everyone else has.
I like
to preserve things and tell stories with my collections, as well as learn
about the origin of an item from the older objects.
I am obsessed with
collecting artifacts, oddities, vintage pieces, and antiques from my travels
around the world, and things inspired by my childhood memories.
You could have opened your store in any city in the world—what made you
choose San Francisco? It's the perfect embodiment of my style: it's
East-West, it's an old-new or a new-old city, it's a big-small city and a
small-big city.
It is most European as well as most Asian in many ways, and
it's this "Eurasian" nature and romance that speaks to and inspires me.
I am also not your typical designer, as I have no formal education in design
and as a result, my aesthetics are non-formulaic, and this gives me a
different point of view.
Likewise, San Francisco is not typical and is known
for its welcoming nature, especially for the voyagers, expats, and
As much as it is an established city, it is constantly
It's classic, yet current.
I love it.
You pull a lot of your inspiration from global jaunts.
How do you describe
your travel style? I'm a neurotic traveler.
I still change into my PJs on
a long flight, yet I like my proper linen and China while I am enjoying my
in-flight meal.
I'm also obsessed with the idea of creating the perfect
leather travel bag, done the old fashion way, from Italy—growing up my
parents always had proper carry-on and week-end bags.
Aubrie Pick Aubrie Pick
Photography What are some places from your recent travels that
inspired your new store? My favorite hotels in London, the Connaught and
Old school, proper luxury inspires me to stay true to my design
aesthetic: classic, quality, longevity ...
and not trendy.
What can we expect to find in it? Plenty of travel-inspired wares.
My own
leather goods, including carry on and weekend bags handcrafted in Italy.
designed a fabric collection with Bolt Textiles using our Left Bank-meets-Bali
fabric style, and our first collection is called The Sisters, inspired by the
strong women in my life.
Also, hand-painted crystal glassware designed by my friend Margot Lar,
decorative Italian silk pillows by Alexandra D.
Fosters, my amazing
collections of silhouettes that date to the 17th century, antique hardware
from Bali and India, and many other collectibles, from a UK top hat collection
to antique Japanese combs to drug store counters from Iowa.
Anything else? Yes.
We also have grab-and-go floral arrangements, so
it's all come full circle.
Jenna Scatena is on the San Francisco Bay Area beat for Travel +
Follow her on Twitter and Instagram. San Francisco
designer Jonathan Rachman talks his travel store, and the international home
goods he's selling in his new store.
Read on for details.

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