Doers of glamorous jobs always seem to protest their career’s fun factors. (See: “Modeling is hard work.”) Not Keith Johnson. At 54, the blue-eyed, Rittenhouse Square-dwelling art and antiques buyer for Anthropologie and star of Man Shops Globe, now in its second season on the Sundance Channel, has made a career of exploring souqs, flea markets and side streets in places like Syria and South Africa and Parma and Paris, in search of the perfect Thai fabric to be resewn by fair-trade quilters in Calcutta, or rustic architectural salvage for the new Anthro in Edinburgh. Although he laments the modern-day dearth of never-been-seen-before finds, he doesn’t mind the challenge, the travel, or even that, four to six months a year for 16 years, his work has separated him from Glen Senk, his longtime partner and Urban Outfitters Inc.’s CEO. As long as he has his trusty Globe-Trotter luggage, three good shirts, a blazer that looks as smart crumpled as it does pressed, and a pair of brown oxfords, he’s good to go. “I sleep better on planes than in my own bed,” he explains.
Good Life: Model Citizen: Keith Johnson, treasure hunter
The star of Man Shops Globe dishes on his travels.
Originally published in Philadelphia Magazine, October 2010