• Scent of a Woman: Meet the creator of our Talia fragrance

     

    One of our favorite places on this beautiful planet is Ojai, an artistic enclave a couple of hours north of Los Angeles, it’s known for it’s rolling orchards, art galleries and one of the best farmer’s markets we’ve ever visited. It’s also home to Janna Sheehan, a perfumer who is inspired by the best of nature, especially the native oak trees, wildflowers and citrus fruits of her local town. Years ago, when the Johnny Was Talia fragrance was just a creative thought, it was Sheehan who helped turn our vision into a gorgeous scent that’s a mix of jasmine, sweet orange, and musk. She’s also the genius behind the Ojai Wild line, a collection of four California-inspired Eau de colognes, which you can find in our stores now. Life is sweet and so is she. Here, we picked her mind on scent making and how to find your own inspired perfume.

    JW: How did you first get started as a perfumer?

    JS: Years ago, I met an Ojai woman who was a perfumer. During our conversation, I told her how much I’d love to learn to design fragrance. She went home that night, blended me a custom perfume and brought it to my house the next day. For the next two years, she and I worked together, creating hundreds of fragrances in my living room. I learned how to blend with aroma chemicals, essential oils, and many other fragrant raw materials. This definitely isn’t the most conventional education in fragrance but it was so creative and free.

    JW: Tell us about creating our Talia fragrance?

    JS: It actually happened smoothly and quickly and came out exactly how I’d first imagined it.

    Catherine Nation (JW EVP of Retail) and I had been friends for years, so when she came to me with the fragrance project it just flowed. We have a similar ‘style’ vocabulary and sensibility. The project came together organically. She gave me input and direction and tested the samples with the JW team. The name, Talia, was derived from JW founder, Eli Levite’s daughter.

    A little salty, sweet and sensual –– just like the bohemian lifestyle that Johnny Was embraces. This was the backdrop of my inspiration for Talia.

    JW: Talia is now a candle as well as a soap, how does that change the fragrance process?

    JS: Fragrance translates differently in each medium. There are fragrance notes that can be highlighted by the raw material ingredients in a soap or candle, such as soy, cocoa butter or shea butter which brings out buttery smelling notes in the soap. We worked to highlight all the best qualities of Talia in each form.

    JW: Tell us about your own fragrance collection, Ojai Wild?

    JS: Ojai Wild is the result of an invitation to create a fragrance that embodied the essence of the Ojai Valley for an Ojai Porch Gallery art exhibit. The brand was about three years in the making. Sourcing botanicals, making extracts and formulating the colognes was a labor of love and took some time to understand. Now, I have a library of about 40-50  botanical, resin and wood extracts and an array of products we use them in. The packaging is also unique, the wooden caps are the meticulous work of Cole Bennet and Rob B. of Thirdkind Studio in Brooklyn, NY.

    JW: How would someone blend their own fragrance?

    JS: The world of fragrance is going through a very transformative time. There is such a big artisan movement going on –– anyone can find fragrance classes or teachers across the US. As far as wearing fragrance, wear what speaks to you the moment it touches your skin.

    JW: Finally, what’s your favorite scent?

    JS: I love every aroma known to mankind. My biggest inspiration is found in nature.

    For more info on Ojai Wild and Janna follow her on Instagram @ojaiwild

     

  • Fall Trends from Johnny Was

    As summer slips into fall, it’s time to take stock of your closet, see what’s missing (or what you can put aside for later) and get inspired by luxe fabrics, rich designs and the pending season. Fall is a time for indulgent fabrics, cozy knits and, most importantly the statement sleeve. Fashion trends elicit the 70’s-esque look (one of our faves) with vintage silhouettes, velvets, plaids and flare jeans.Layers are where it’s at for fall since as not only does it keep you toasty, it’s an easy way to let your clothes reflect your unique style. So, mix and match at your will, try pairing prints with plaids, velvets with linen, or casual denim with luxe embroidery. While it may seem busy to layer dramatic pieces, there are ways to soften your look. Wearing a slouchy sweater with a button up shirt and bell bottoms, or boyfriend jeans mixed with a classic boho peasant style top. There’s no need to bury your faux furs or sweaters in the back of your closet either – wear them all—turtlenecks under dresses under coats and jackets.

    Texture is a goldmine this fall. Fringes, embroidery, and velvets create a similar voluminous effect to layering, however, the lightness is easier to wear while still unique. The key point to remember is to mix textures and not colors—think monochromatically. Although the 70’s trend generally favors earth tones like browns and rusts, 2017 has modernized the look by bringing out the colors one at a time. This year Pantone as well as the fashion runways of NY and Eu-rope, suggest the hit colors are blue, orange, red, pink and classic black.

    One of our favorite silhouettes of the season is the cold shoulder and statement for dresses and tops (this trend has been around for a while and it’s staying). Rather than a sleek edge for fall, try a little flounce with a wider sleeve sleeves, ruffled cuff or subtle cut outs at the shoulder. Take inspiration from the classic 70’s peasant top, and give it an update. Of course, at the end of the day, we’re all about showcasing your personal style, so pick and choose the trends that resonate with you, maybe try something new and bring on fall!

  • Carry On! Our New Bags From the Sienna Collection

    We’ve always got a touch of the wanderlust; traveling is one of our greatest inspirations for all of our Johnny Was collections, so it’s no surprise that when we were looking to add some new handbags to our accessory arsenal, we ended up in Italy. Siena Collection by Italian leather goods company, Bruno Rossi, is named after one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, Siena. Situated in the Tuscany, this region is an originator of creativity and attention to detail, from being the home of Leonardo Da Vince to the birthplace of red wines like Chianti Classico.

    Bruno Rossi started back in 1973, and this family-run business has become synonymous with handcrafted detail as well as the finest (and softest) leathers. For the Johnny Was collection, Rossi used vegetable tanned goatskin that is cut, assembled and hand-finished to give a vintage, love-worn appearance. There are three styles, all given bellissima italian names like Allegra (meaning joy), Ilaria (meaning cheerful) and Giada (meaning jade). We curated styles for every occasion, from the Woven Washed Leather Cross Body Bag that stashes all of your day's incidentals, to the larger Multi Pocket bag that can be your chic office to evening option. Rossi is also known for infusing his bags with great attention to detail, so our trio is packed with tassels, interior pockets and exterior zippers. They are truly the epitome of form and function.

    The beauty of a great leather bag is that they just get better with age (kind of like your fave jeans). Of course, there are still a couple of tips that will guarantee these bags look fab for years to come. Firstly, we always recommend cleaning your purse once a year with a “soft soap” and a damp cotton cloth, as this keeps the leather cleaned and moisturized. Secondly, since leather is very susceptible to absorbing oils—be it from your hands or food spills—this can be erased with white chalk dust, literally, just crush up a white piece of chalk and let the powder sit on the stain overnight. Lastly, since we’re all fans of rotating accessories, if you put your beloved tote on hold for a season, make sure your bag retains its shape by stuffing it with bubble wrap and storing it in a clean pillowcase. Bueno!

  • Our Summer Johnny Was Playlist

    As the temperatures continue to rise and our time spent in the glorious sunshine is at a high, the festivities of summer continue. Music is always a big part of our celebration and celebrating the freedom of the season. Some of the world’s greatest music was built around the theme of summer. From Alice Cooper’s famous “School’s Out For The Summer,” to DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince rapping about “Summertime,” to Frank Sinatra’s “Summer Wind;” music has long told the story of this season.

    Inside every Johnny Was retail store we are also telling a story through music. A specially curated playlist, just for our customers, is updated daily. Here’s a sampling of what we are listening to this season.

    Stevie Nicks

    The Naked and Famous

    Imagine Dragons

    Everything But the Girl

    Tom Petty

    Rolling Stones

    Bob Marley

    Vance Joy

    Fleetwood Mac

    Steve Miller Band

    Stevie Ray Vaughan

    Sheryl Crow

    Fleetwood Mac’s Classic “Go Your Own Way,” never goes out of style and always reminds of us of an amazing summer or two spent in the sunshine.

    “Swingtown,’ by the Steve Miller Band is just the remedy for these last few days of independence. With Miller’s amazingly timeless voice and Gordy Knutson’s unbelievable drumming talent, this is a song that is guaranteed to make you dance.

    Visit any Johnny Was retail store and ask about our special curation of music. We’ll be back with our fall music list soon!

  • How To Love Your Skin The Natural Way

    We’ve always been a fan of natural-inspired beauty and taking care of our bodies in a thoughtful way, so recently we explored skincare options that weren’t just about pricey creams or visits to the dermatologist (though there is definitely a time and place for that).  Here, Sherrie Matthews, a Los Angeles-based acupuncturist and wellness expert, shares her tips on nurturing your face from the inside out.

    JW: What’s one of the main things that people seem to do incorrectly when it comes to skincare?

    SM:The key for me is a moisturizing cleanser, I think we spend too much time scrubbing and depleting our skin of its natural oils. Two of my favorite organic ingredients are high quality olive oil and calendula, a plant extract which moisturizes dry and damaged skin but also has anti-bacterial properties. When washing your face, look for one of the new, gentle cleansing oils as opposed to a soap or gel. I also have my own toning spray, Rose and Sandalwood Toner, which helps to even out skin tone while also infusing a boost of moisture on clean skin.

    JW: What are some easy preventative tips for slowing down damage to our skin?

    SM: Well, no surprise here, but try and avoid sun damage as much as possible. From a lifestyle point of view, sleep and digestion are paramount. Chinese medicine and acupuncture believe that everything stems from the spleen and the stomach, and if your stomach is not harmonious, it shows up in your face. One of the worst things for your skin is refined sugar, these days it’s tricky to avoid because there is sugar in everything, from ice cream to salad dressing. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of all the juicing crazes right now either because I think it’s better to eat whole foods and get the fiber. Another tip from eastern medicine for keeping bodies in balance is to not eat or drink too many cold things—aim for room temperature or, if you eat a huge salad, balance it out with a cup of something warming like ginger tea.

    JW: How does an acupuncture facial work?

    SM: It took me a long time to conceive, I studied under traditional Chinese masters and learned more modern techniques on my own. Even though I’m focusing on the face, I’m also working to balance the whole you—think of your body as its own little eco-system and take care of it as a whole. First I massage in an oil to clean the face and then I use a jade roller, which is great for puffiness around the eyes and it brings a wonderful glow to the skin. Next, I’ll put needles on the face that stay in for about 15 minutes—tiny ones across fine lines, or for example, if you have dark circles around your eyes, that’s a symptom of kidney function so I’ll work on that.

    JW: If someone doesn’t have access to an acupuncture facial, what little tricks can they do at home?

    SM: Aside from diet and healthy exercise, I do the jade roller every night on my face, and facial massage is also really good; apply your favorite cream and always swipe your hands in an upward motion, left to right, under your chin, and massage around your nose, as well as on laugh lines. Also, one of my favorite spots, is the happy point, which is in the middle of your eyebrows, by your third eye. Just rub that in a circular motion with your index finger whenever you need a boost.

    For more info on Sherrie Matthews and her acupuncture practice go to her Sherrie Matthews Acupuncture.

    All photography by Reuben Reynoso.

  • Beach Bag Accessories: What to Pack For The Perfect Beach Day

    Whether you’re packing for a beach vacation or a quick 6-hour staycation at your local playa, getting your sunny essentials together in a bag is key to having a good time. Here, we've rounded up the best accessories to keep you protected from the sun, surf, and sand, plus a couple of ways to relax that are more about enjoying the surf than surfing the web (i.e. chill out).

    SPF Savvy: We’ve all been taught the importance of sunscreen from a young age, which is why protection from its harsh rays is so imperative. According to Health.com, 80% of skin cancer is found on the nose, so don’t forget to apply to this sensitive sunburn spot as well as everywhere else. Look for a broad spectrum cream—meaning it protects against UVA and UVB rays—and opt for an SPF 30, which will protect you from 97% of the burning rays if you re-apply it every 2 hours.

    Hair Apparent: You hair gets pretty fried in the sun (and salt water) but an easy way to keep it protected is to carry a small travel-sized bottle of conditioner with you. Just rub a quarter-sized dollop onto strands before and after swimming.

    Lip Service: Don’t forget your kisser. Bring for an all-in-one lip balm and sun protectant and re-apply it often. Look for one that is at least SPF 20 and, if you must wear lip color, put on your sunblock first or buy a balm that protects and tints at the same time.

    Summer Reads: Whether it’s on your Kindle or an old-fashioned paperback, summer is always a great time to get absorbed in a great story (and a nice time out from social media). Some reads we’re loving this season are Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (this is her follow-up to Girl on a Train), Option B by Sheryl Sandberg, essays about life’s hardships and resilience from the COO of Facebook, and Startup by Doree Shafrir; this first-time novelist will make you laugh out loud with her gossipy satire about women in the workplace.

    Keep covered: Aside from sunscreen, the two things that keep you protected are a wide-brimmed hat and a good pair of sunglasses. When shopping for sunnies, look for ones that say they block at least 98% of UVB rays. Also, for extended times outdoors, you are better off with shades that are larger (and we think chicer), and also sit snug against your face. Clothing-wise, the number one beach cover-up in our lookbook is a lightweight kaftan. Slip it on over your SPF and wear whenever you are under your umbrella. We love the mid-calf stylings of our Alina Long Kaftan.

    In The Bag: Finally, keep all your incidentals cinched up in a cloth or nylon bag that won’t get ruined if it gets a little wet. We love a backpack style because it’s easy to tote if you are also carrying chairs, umbrellas, big beach towels etc. Our Arwen Backpack is perfect.

    Photography by Miki Ash

  • Our July 4th Weekend Cocktail Guide

    BBQ’s, fireworks, and a festive cocktail. Sounds like the perfect long weekend to us. We asked some of our favorites mixologists for their go-to recipes for summer libations to help add an extra bang to your holiday. Cheers! Tucked away of the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills is one of the town’s most beautiful bars— the scene is as good as the cocktails and here’s their summer must-have.

    The Prickly Pear Margarita

    2 oz tequila blanco
    3/4oz prickly pear syrup
    1oz lime juice
    7 sage leaves
    1 jalapeño slice

    Combine all ingredients in a shaker with sage and muddle. Add jalapeño slice and press ONCE. Shake and strain into an old fashioned glass.

    Garnish: Prickly juice salt

    Glass: Single Rocks

    Photo and recipe courtesy Peninsula Beverly Hills.

    For some Southern flair we asked Tito from Couchon Butcher in New Orleans for his tried-and-tested party quencher.

    Water-Meli Cocktail

    Ingredients:
    1 1/4 oz Tito's Handmade Vodka

    2 oz fresh watermelon juice
    1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
    Ginger beer

    Combine Tito's Handmade Vodka, watermelon and lime juices in glass with ice. Stir to combine. Top with ginger beer and serve.

    Garnish: Lime Slice

    Glass: Double Rocks

    Photo and recipe courtesy Titos.

    If your guests are beer drinkers, a summer favorite of Boulevard Brewery is The “ZON.” Flemish for “summer,” the ZON is light, refreshing and crisp (with a hint of orange) and the perfect brew for your BBQ. See more here.

     

    For an entirely different twist on summertime celebrations, check out this cool way to serve a cocktail. Photo courtesy Pinterest.

    As always, we want to hear from you! Drop us a line at social@johnnywas.com

  • A Summer Wardrobe Must Have: A Gorgeous Kaftan

    Kaftans are nothing new on the fashion front; they’ve been worn by various cultures across the globe for thousands of years. From Marrakech to Mumbai, this breezy tunic has been a wardrobe staple thanks to its effortless silhouette and endless fabric options—it’s the perfect hot weather cover up. “Aside from its colorful history, it’s also the perfect shape for most body types,” says Theresa McAllen, who dreams up some of your favorite kaftans for the 3J Workshop collection. “It is great as a beach coverup but can easily transition to dinner,” McAllen adds. Below are our top styling tips for lounging, loving and making the kaftan your go-to boho style statement from day to night.

    Dress it up: The longer the kaftan, the dressier it can go. Think back to all of those gorgeous pics of Liz Taylor in her ornately embroidered floor skimmers. Either choose a strappy high-heeled sandal or a low, sparkly slide (note: don’t forget the perfect, bold pedicure). When it comes to jewelry, dress up your look with a couple of chunky bangles and boho wrap bracelets or a bold earring. Since kaftans often have ornate designs or stitch work on the yoke, we suggest skipping the necklace.

    Lounge Time: If you want the perfect poolside coverup, the kaftan should always be your first pick. Look for a length that is mid-thigh to just above the knee, and with slits on the side so you’ll get in and out of that low lounger with zero snags. If you’re teaming it with a bathing suit, look for quick dry fabrics like cotton or a lightweight linen. We love our Patchwork Kaftan.

    Layer it up: For casual daytime looks, layer a mid-length kaftan with leggings, skinny jeans or a plain slip dress. Keep your shoes on the light side with a strappy sandal or slide. In summer months or weekend brunch dates, go bold with colors and embroidery. Or, for a more work-friendly look, pick a solid hue with more subtle embellishments. We love our Calmar Short Kaftan.

    Small Carry Alls:

    A kaftan can look quite oversized because of its loose fit, so keep your purse on the petite side to balance out the silhouette. Go for a clutch or small bag and one that compliments the color of your cool cover-up. Since you are already wearing a bold statement piece, the goal is to keep the rest of your look understated and chic. “I love wearing kaftans because they always have the spirit of vacations and travel but we can integrate them into our daily lives,” adds McAllen

  • A Few Good Men: Happy Father's Day

    With Father’s Day coming up on June 18th, we are celebrating a few of our favorite creative males—dads and sons who give to their families and society—and ask what moves, motivates and makes them better men. Here’s our top three:

    John Robshaw, textile master and all-around design guru, is specific about his childhood memories and credits his stylish dad with inspiring his work ethic and aesthetic.

    “I think of my pop in his red corvette with his Gucci driving gloves circa 1975… which he has given to me. If I wanted to drive the car in high school, I had to wash and wax it—not such a bad deal!”

    Robshaw’s textile collections go beyond the realm of gorgeous but it’s his serious dedication to impoverished children, artisans and others less fortunate that runs deep throughout his business model and makes him even more gracious than his work. Read about his views on karma and smart ways to help those in need here.

     (Images courtesy of John Robshaw)

    Photographer and explorer (and one of the coolest guys on the planet) Chris Burkard, loves spending time with his two sons and catching waves.

    His new award-winning movie, “Under An Arctic Sky,” features six surfers traveling to the frozen shores of Iceland to find the perfect wave. Their trip takes a life-threatening turn when the worst storm to hit the country in twenty-five years arrives. In theaters soon and check out the trailer here.

    Sculptor E. Spencer Schubert plans on hanging with his kids and having them all get their hands dirty this Father’s Day. Known for sculpting everything from Jesus to Jay-Z, Schubert is a firm believer in having his kids involved in his craft and the work involved. “It’s how they spend their summer. They learn what I do and also get an appreciation for creativity that you don’t get from the normal summer experience.”

    This Father’s Day, Spencer’s kids will be watching him put the finishing touches on a commission to be dedicated this September - a sculpture honoring the service of the West Des Moines Firefighters.

  • Day Tripping With Johnny Was: Plano, TX

    Big things are happening in Texas with our latest Johnny Was retail store opening. We are hitting the town of Plano and its newest development, Legacy West, a new, beautiful open-air shopping, and lifestyle concept.

    Stylist and blogger Alex Carreno say, “Plano is for shoppers,” and we couldn’t agree more. Her take: “It was refreshing to be in a city where nearly everything I needed was within walking distance.” Be sure to visit her blog to see her must-dos in the city and try her favorite cocktail, the Hibiscus Margarita is found at Legacy West’s Mexican Sugar.

    Some of our top shopping stops included the gorgeous Sephora and quick test drive at Tesla.

    True Food Kitchen is a favorite stop when we head to Legacy West. Check out this Instagram Video of how they make their famous Poke Bowl with delicious, simple ingredients.

     

    Plano native Lauren Scruggs speaks highly of her hometown, “I grew up in Plano, so the city has such a special place in my heart and holds the sweetest memories!” We agree! And so do many others. CNN named Plano the Best City in Texas and Money ranked it the #3 for Best Cities in The United States. For more on Legacy West and Plano’s hot spots, check out their cleverly written blog.

    (Images courtesy of Lauren Scruggs Kennedy and Alex Carreno)

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