Wouldn't this be your dream job? I love, love, love Anthro stores. I go in just to look at the displays they have, don't you? Here is an interview with Keith Johnson "The" shopper for Anthropologie reprinted from the Anthropologie newsletter out today.
When it comes to found objects, what catches your eye?
I always look for integrity. I don't like things that have been monkeyed around with too much - or if they have been manipulated, it has to be intentional, almost ironic. I also look for things with a great patina or things that narrate the experience of where I am.
Have you ever suffered from buyer's remorse? Oh, sure. I used to feel I needed to buy variety. It made me make choices that weren't based on falling in love with something. The thing with found objects is you have to be open to happening upon something and responding to it. If you have too strong of an agenda, you are going to force your eye into seeing things that may not be there.
You have a knack at seeing utility in art-you know how to tweak it into something more. have you always been a Doctor Frankenstein of sort?
It's definitely something that personality intrigues me, but it's a muscle I've built. I've been lucky enough to see the genius in our stores, particularly the displays. They are very inspirational - what our visual artists have done with things they have on hand is so much better than the objects themselves.
In the season premiere of MSG, we see you in Thailand, where you shop in a market consisting of 15,000-plus vendors. How did you not feel overwhelmed?
I love shopping in that particular market - there's a smell of possibility in the air, and it energizes you. You feel like you have all the energy in the world to tackle it.