The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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Love
Stories: Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler

Love
            Stories: Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler

Married:
September 18, 2008 Together: 14 years

For many gay
couples, marriage means recognition, which isn’t
something Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler lack. In
1994, Adler sold his first pottery design to Barneys
New York, where creative director Simon Doonan
presides as one of fashion’s keenest wits. Fourteen
years later, Adler, now an interior design mogul and
lead judge on Bravo’s Top Design, and Doonan,
who when not writing cheeky books often turns up on
America’s Next Top Model, describe
themselves as sickeningly happy.

So why marry?
“I never really needed a wedding, but I wanted all
the financial and inheritance rights -- which we still
don’t fully have,” Adler says.
“That to me is the most underexamined part of the
debate.”

On September 18,
Adler and Doonan lined up at San Francisco City Hall
with Adler’s mom and sister by their sides.
“Tons of gay couples were getting married,
mostly women,” Doonan says. “It was such a
festive atmosphere, because everybody was dressed up
and couples had flowers. In government offices the
staff usually seems to be a bit worn down and grumpy.
But [at City Hall] they were very fun and patient and
enjoying it. It was very, very touching, the whole
thing.”

But more
important, what did the grooms wear? Doonan: “I wore
a brown velvet jacket -- which had a button missing
and a big stain on the front, but I happen to love
that velvet jacket, and it is velvet, so I figured
that’s kind of festive -- a liberty-print
small-flowered shirt, a narrow mod tie, a pair of
Barneys Co-op jeans, and some Hogan sneakers; they
give me a bit of extra height. And Jonny wore his little
mod-preppy outfit, which was also from
Barneys.”

Later they were
married in a simple Jewish ceremony in their hotel suite
(a.k.a. plan B). “We were going to do it in Big Sur,
but the officiant there was a very New Agey person,
and I was worried we would all start giggling,”
Doonan says. Instead the wedding party spent their honeymoon
weekend in Big Sur, joined by Ruben and Isabel Toledo as
well as fellow newlyweds Amy Norquist and New
Yorker
writer Ariel Levy.

Doonan and Adler
are so well-matched, it’s almost a relief to learn
that Adler becomes annoyed with his husband on
occasion. “I don’t know what the
opposite of procrastination is, but Simon is unbearably
efficient,” Adler says. “It leads to a
smugness that makes me enraged.” As for what
Adler does to rub his husband the wrong way, Doonan says,
“He goes around telling people I’m
unbearably efficient!”

Tags: World, World

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