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'Man Shops Globe' for Anthropologie, and the Sundance Channel tags along for the ride

October 14, 2009 | 12:36 pm

Southafrica4-1 You've gotta hand it to Anthropologie. The chain for suburbanites who wished they lived in Paris has great home decor. Now the Sundance Channel has a TV series about the guy who buys it all. 

In the first episode of "Man Shops Globe," which airs at 10 p.m. Wednesdays, buyer Keith Johnson drops tens of thousands of euros in France. (Note to self: Add the Avignon antiques fair and the city of L'Isle-Sur-la-Sorgue, which has 500 dealers, on next European itinerary.)

Tonight on Episode 2, Johnson goes on a South Africa safari, hunting down craftsmen who work in beads, clay, wood and junk. (Spoiler alert: Johnson visits the Magpie art collective and commissions a chandelier made of plastic bottle tops and Barbie legs. Later, it is revealed, that the funky fixture has been purchased by President Obama.)

Get a glimpse of Episodes 3 and 4 after the jump.

Holland3 Though he is a genial enough host, Johnson is given to saying things like "the clock is ticking." (He'd be more fun if he really was impatient.) As a result, his trip to Turkey to find textiles in the third episode is rather uninspiring. I mean, who hasn't seen pillows made from suzanis by now? But the footage of Istanbul's Grand Bazaar does suggest that the marketplace lives up to its name.

Fans of midcentury modern and contemporary furniture design should not miss his Episode 4 excursion through the Netherlands. In Amsterdam, Johnson connects with former Anthropolgie employee Leslie Oschmann, shown here, who designs under the name Swarm. She re-covers old school chairs with printed canvas and needlepoint reproductions of Dutch masters including Vermeer. 

Johnson also visits the Design Academy Eindhoven, a hotbed of Dutch talent, and takes a brief but breathtaking spin through the compound of Axel Vervoordt, one of the world's most revered antiques collectors and interior designer to the likes of Bill Gates and Sting.

-- David A. Keeps

Photo credits: Sundance Channel