8-part series premieres on Sundance Channel Wednesday October 7th at 10:00pm e/p
New York, May 27, 2009 – Sundance Channel will premiere its new, eight-part original series "Man Shops Globe" on Wednesday, October 7 at 10:00pm et/pt. In each half-hour program Keith Johnson, the buyer-at-large for the innovative specialty retailer Anthropologie, travels to a new country in search of fantastic and unusual decorative objects, furniture, and textiles, as well as artists and crafts people. "Man Shops Globe" follows Johnson, who travels six months of the year, to ends-of-the-earth excursions, from flea markets in Paris to remote villages in India and obscure art studios in Turkey. The series is produced by World of Wonder ("Tori and Dean: Inn Love," "Show Biz Mom & Dads," "One Punk Under God").
In each location, whether an old favorite like the U.K. or a new landscape like Tunisia, Keith hits the ground running with a different team of local experts and artists who help him seek, acquire and re-imagine a new life for the eclectic objects he finds. Working against the clock and driven by his own competitive spirit, he is inexhaustible in his search for unique design. This series is also distinguished by Johnson’s appreciation of the creative process; in each episode he meets artists and artisans including sculptors, glass-blowers, weavers, painters and graffiti artists whose work inspires him and leads to ideas for works he may commission.
Executive Producers are Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato. Co Executive Producer and Director is Jeremy Simmons. The Executive Producers for Sundance Channel are Sarah Barnett, Lynne Kirby and Ann Rose.
The episode lineup for "Man Shops Globe" is as follows:
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 cafe. 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 23nd
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 decor 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 decor 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.
About Keith Johnson:
Keith Johnson’s passion for art, antiques and travel emerged in childhood as he accompanied his father, an art dealer, on excursions through Europe. His current role as Anthropologie’s buyer-at-large is driven by Keith’s early experiences and boundless curiosity. He spends most of the year abroad in search of decorative antiques and found objects to be sold in Anthropologie stores and serve as inspiration for in-house design, as well as gifted artisans to create original works.
Keith’s relationship with Anthropologie began in 1994 when his partner Glen Senk, now CEO of parent company Urban Outfitters Inc., became president. Senk asked Johnson to find decorative antiques and found objects for the women’s lifestyle retailer’s first store. As Anthropologie grew so did Johnson’s responsibilities. He now acquires decorative antiques and found objects for 123 Anthropologie stores in the United States and two stores in Canada and curates the art gallery in Anthropologie’s Rockefeller Center location.
About World of Wonder Productions
Executive producers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato are the founders of World of Wonder Productions (http://www.worldofwonder.net). Based in both Los Angeles and London, World of Wonder is best known for award-winning films and documentaries such as The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Party Monster and Inside Deep Throat. Recent successful and returning series include the hit Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood for Oxygen (Season 4), RuPaul’s Drag Race for Logo (Season 2) and Million Dollar Listings for Bravo (Season 3).
About Sundance Channel
Under the creative direction of Robert Redford, Sundance Channel is the television destination for independent-minded viewers seeking something different. Bold, imaginative and uncompromising, Sundance Channel offers audiences a diverse and engaging selection of films, documentaries and original programs. Launched in 1996, Sundance Channel is a subsidiary of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC. Sundance Channel operates independently of the non-profit Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival, but shares the overall Sundance mission of encouraging artistic freedom of expression. Sundance Channel’s website address is www.sundancechannel.com.
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media is a leading producer of targeted, multi-platform content for global distribution, creating and managing some of the world’s most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands, including AMC, IFC, WE tv, Sundance Channel and VOOM HD Networks. Through IFC Entertainment, Rainbow Media also owns and manages the following: IFC Films, a leading distribution company for independent film; IFC Productions, a feature film production company that provides financing for select independent film projects; and IFC Center, a three screen, state-of-the-art cinema in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village. Rainbow Media also operates Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales company; Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company; and 11 Penn TV, a company that manages Rainbow Media’s NYC studios and post-production facilities.