Jonathan Meizler


Jonathan Meizler

Title of work

Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Newton, MA. I studied film, design, and fine art at Newhouse School/Syracuse University. I lived in Vienna and London for two years, and then moved to LA and worked in film as an assistant director before relocating to NYC in 2002.

What interested you in design? Any early stories to share?
Growing up I always had a pencil in my hand, and the art world opened up to me. I have always been inspired by all facets of design. I fell into fashion organically when I was hand-painting silks; the collection grew from there.

Having no formal training in fashion, my career is based upon my innate intuition. Over the years, I was fortunate to have been involved with a close knit group of designers, architects, and filmmakers. My fashion schooling was based on trial and error, as I worked with some of the finest pattern and sample makers in the business and a few of the worst, resulting in a copious amount of gained knowledge. The pitfalls of owning your own business.

How did the brand launch, what was this process like for you?
Years ago, I launched the Jon Valdi men’s and women’s designer sportswear collection in LA. My then partner and I moved operations to New York in the early 2000s and this morphed into a couture collection sold exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman and to private clients. Dealing with clients firsthand and creating one-of-a-kind gowns was a wonderful experience, though ultimately, the process of working strictly in the fashion world became repetitive and restrictive to me. I left this business in 2009 because I wanted to create something different from what I had experienced.

How was the Title of Work name created?
I fell in love with the idea of adapting couture techniques to the men’s accessories space, creating unique pieces not necessarily found in the current stratosphere. The idea of creating a collection of accessories that bridges the worlds of fashion, art, and industrial design intrigued me. After months of development I launched Title of Work. The origin of the name is taken from the art world, and I embodied the visual language of that world — from labels to packaging — incorporating a red dot, symbolizing when a piece is sold.

It was important for me to create Title of Work with a specific identity and a finely curated point of view that tells a story from beginning to end. Title of Work allowed me to unify art and fashion by making visual interpretations.

What is your creative process? What do you want people to associate with when they hear the name of your brand?
When developing a collection, I like to empty my mind of past influences to make room for new visual stimulations. Once I’ve decided upon a concept, I will deconstruct and reconstruct it on several levels. This process is often filled with a creative confusion that is sometimes frustrating. However, this confusion is an integral part of the growth that I believe most artists experience, especially if they are striving to create something new. I think the best take-away from the brand is that it represents innovative design, handcrafted quality, and functionality.

Throughout this journey what has been your biggest struggle?
As with many designers, staying relevant and communicating fresh ideas while continuing the thread of one’s own innate identity is a challenge from season to season. The straddling of art and commerce is ever-present while remaining true to one’s design aesthetic.

First big order?
I was fortunate. In our first season, we reached out to a few targeted retailers and the Barney’s buyer responded within 20 minutes of receiving our email. They placed their first order within a week. We became partners with them until their unfortunate demise eight years later.

Jonathan Meizler 1

When did you open the store?
I opened the flagship in 2018, and was lucky enough to survive the pandemic. It’s been a rollercoaster ride and definitely not for the faint of heart.

Jonathan Meizler 2

How do you feel this store tells the story of your brand?
Like the brand, the space is designed with the nomenclature of a gallery, and the collection is front and center. The retail component organically transitioned into a space that houses a medley of eclectic influences and random objects. The store is the physical manifestation of the fact that each Title of Work collection draws inspiration from a series of sources (fine art, science, culture, photography, architecture) and that is what makes it so interesting/peculiar.

What have you learned and how have you adapted your designs based on your close relationship to the customer and their feedback?
I think it is very important for every designer to know and understand their audience. The insight I’ve gained over the years reflects my design sensibility. I find it beneficial to receive immediate response and gratification from dealing directly with our clients. My service skills have defined my philosophy: have integrity, keep my word, and give the customers the service I wish to receive when I am dealing with anyone.

Plans for the future? 
The process of developing and designing new categories keeps me motivated. I have created a capsule collection of lighting and I am in the process of building a furniture collection. I’m a bit obsessed with scent and I would love to develop a line of fragrances. There are a few interesting collaborations that are in the works that I cannot comment on at the moment. Bottom line is that I feel it is important to grow slowly and organically as each piece should be very well considered beforehand.

Given the fast pace of the fashion world — and the fact that most jewelry and accessories are timeless — how important do you think accessories are to the industry?
Accessories define one’s style and point of view. One can take risks with a detail, as opposed to an entire ensemble, and the accessory, in its subtle or ornate way, can transform an otherwise conservative outfit into something modern. I have found that the industry and consumers continuously seek newness in this category, and continuing to push the envelope is what I’m all about.