• October Exclusive: Shop For A Cause At Johnny Was

    The stats are pretty sobering. Approximately one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in her lifetime, and it’s estimated that 252,710 new cases will be diagnosed among American women in 2017 alone. However, like so many diseases, early detection and increased awareness are key to positive treatment outcomes -- and at Johnny Was we’re dedicated to doing our part to find a cure. Throughout the month of October, we’re proud to support breast cancer survivors and their loved ones by offering a commemorative Pink Baja Shirt throughout October as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Even better, we’re donating 20% of the shirt’s sales to one of our favorite charities: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Los Angeles.

    The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks serve as both celebrations of survivors and opportunities to remember loved ones lost. Each year, in an effort to increase awareness, Making Strides raises funds and ultimately save lives. Each event consists of a noncompetitive 3 to 5 mile walk that unites those who have been touched by breast cancer, and money raised is used to fund innovative research, improve support services, boost early detection, as well as provide tons of vital free information.

    Where will your contributions go? Well, the American Cancer Society has played a critical role in several breast cancer breakthroughs, including funding the drugs Tamoxifen and Herceptin. The money raised from 2017’s Making Strides event could potentially help develop the next generation of lifesaving medical advancements -- and that means you could directly contribute to the next major breakthrough in breast cancer treatment. All you have to do is sign up and dig out your sneakers. Hopefully we’ll see you there!

    Join the fight against breast cancer today. Visit www.johnnywas.com/shop-for-a-cause for more information.




  • Behind the Makers: The Johnny Was Shoe Collection

    You may be wondering what took us so long. We’ve been designing the most beautiful embroideries, bespoke kimonos and ready-to-wear collections since the mid 80’s, and it’s only recently that we’ve dipped our toe into shoes (pun intended). Here, we quiz Angela Avanesyan, designer for the Johnny Was Collection, about what it takes to make a shoe from heel-to-toe.

    JW: What inspired you to design shoes?

    AA: Well, it seemed like a great extension of the line, and would also pair beautifully with our clothing. Also, senior designers Biya Ramar and Amy Valentine, had found these amazingly comfortable shoes from Spain and thought they’d be perfect for us to embellish—we have a company there that we often work with, they’re really experienced in working with natural fibers like jute which is how the espadrille became our first shoe. The goal was to create something that was simple in design, comfortable, and that everyone would want to wear, while still being as striking as our clothing.

    JW: Tell us about the design process?

    AA: Biya and Amy will give me a shoe, a classic style, and then we’ll totally take it to the next level. Since I work with a lot of our embroidered blouses, I’ll take a few and literally chop them up and lay the embroidery over the shoe—the design on our Retro Metallic Bootie is actually the sleeve of one of our blouses. Next, maybe Biya will say that she loves a print we just designed so then we’ll take a piece of that and keep playing with all the components until we get something amazing. It’s like doing a puzzle.

    JW: Are all the shoes made in Spain?

    AA: Yes, I’ll then send over our sample shoe, as well as computer files and color swatches. If the embroidery design is from a piece of clothing I’ll send that as well since all Johnny Was designs have a very specific stitch technique; we like all of our pieces to look as if they were hand embroidered and that’s trickier to achieve. When we get the sample back sometimes we’ll have some changes so the whole design process takes about three weeks

    JW: What’s your favorite style?

    AA: I love the Metallic Retro Boots! I know it’s a little odd since I work for Johnny Was but I wear a lot of blacks and these boots look great with a white tee and dark jeans. The new loafer slip-on is also amazing, we added some really great details like cushioning at the back of the heel which makes them super comfortable. We want to do something new and different every season. 

    View our full collection of shoes here.

  • Johnny Was Guide To New Season Chic

    Autumn is finally upon us, which means it’s time to indulge in pumpkin spice and everything nice (especially new fall clothes). In honor of sweater weather, we’re offering up a seasonal guide on how to layer our luxe textures, bold hues and eye-catching prints like a pro.

    Mix and Match: Your Essential Guide to Fall Layering

    #1: Make a Statement

    Every outfit you wear is an opportunity to tell your story, so make sure it’s a good read.  Choose a statement piece that’s unapologetically you, and create visual harmony with the help of neutral, earthy hues. Whether you love fall’s moody petals or prefer the free-spirited look of patchwork prints, these dynamic pieces allow you to showcase your personal sense of style. Unite a floral-print hoodie and embroidered joggers with the help of a basic tee, or give your 9-to-5 trousers an unexpected promotion with a silk blouse tucked beneath a velvety wrap.

    #2: Striking Silhouettes

    Use textured layers to craft a sublime silhouette, whether you want to evoke dreamy days on the beach or chic city nights. The art of layering comes down to finding the right blend of balance and contrast. Pair a tiered boho dress with a bomber jacket for an alluring presentation, or soften ‘70s-inspired flare jeans with a beautifully draped A-line top. Cropped jumpsuits update modern favorites with retro influence, while fluffy faux fur linings, faux suede and wool elevate lightweight basics with ease.

    #3: Dream in Denim 

    Seasons may change, but denim is your constant companion. Jeans add gravitas to airy tunics or an understated edge to colorful, embroidered tops. From high-rise dark washes that make your stems look miles long to relaxed denim silhouettes that are borrowed from the boys, these designs are inherently chic and eternally cool. Layer your dark floral prints with black jeans for a flattering fall uniform, or cuff a slim-fitting design to show off our signature red binding on the inner seams.

    #4: Color Connection

    A subtle color theme can make two boldly different designs feel like a match made in heaven, so play around with your favorite fall hues. Weave a single color throughout your mixed prints to cultivate balance, or enhance a monochromatic look with an eclectic blend of textures like eyelet, fringe and cotton crochet.

    #5: The Little Things

    The right accessories can instantly transform your look and transition your wardrobe from summer to fall. Opulent jewelry lends a bold finishing touch that’s uniquely you, while an artisanal handbag enriches every journey. Create tonal contrast with an opulent silk scarf trimmed in braided tassels, or add a little flower power to an everyday ensemble with the help of patterned ankle boots or loafers.

    Ready to pile on the style? Browse our September catalog for plenty of fall layering inspiration. 

  • Introducing: Calmé Organics Collection By Johnny Was

    Creating and finding beauty in the world is always a motivating force for us, as well as a constant source of inspiration. From our globally-inspired embroideries to the classic beauty of natural silks, Johnny Was has always been about authenticity and timelessness, while always looking forward. Hence, our new collection, Calmé. It’s the first time we’re exploring all organic textiles, primarily sourced and created in the US, and with an understated charm and stripped-down aesthetic that is just plain cool and beautiful. Here, we pick the brain of Wanda Weller, the brilliant designer and muse behind this concise collection. Not only was she the Design Director at Patagonia for many years,  but also helped establish the Fashion Sustainability program at Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles. She has a gorgeous aesthetic, as well as a mind for all things simple and green.

    JW: Tell us about Calmé?

    WW: It’s about introducing an organic collection made of all natural woven and knits. When I first started thinking about it and sketching, I was inspired by the idea of taking a pause; when you go into a Johnny Was store there’s so much spirit, color and beauty, and I feel like this line is more about a quiet energy, a calm (hence the name). There’s a quote from this Leonard Koren book that says “pare down the essence but don’t remove the poetry”. I kept thinking of that while designing, how something can still be understated but exciting.

     JW: With your background in sustainable fashion, what parts were the most important elements for you to include?

    WW: I wanted to use plant-based dyes and all organic fabrics. The initial collection is twelve pieces and everything is made in Los Angeles except for a couple of the pieces which are created overseas in the same facility that Patagonia uses.

    JW: What were your inspirations when designing the pieces?

    WW: Well, a woman who comes into a Johnny Was store is always looking for something different, and even though the Calmé Collection doesn’t have lots of embellishments, I made sure that each piece has an interesting twist or unexpected detailing—I didn’t want to create just another plain t shirt. For example, a few of the pieces have a subtle a cover stitch down the back that is either in a tonal or contrast color—my favorite is this gorgeous fuchsia that we’re calling bougainvillea. Also, since these pieces are about the essentials as well as simplicity, they work beautifully with all the other Johnny Was collections. The idea was California easy, breezy pieces that are easy to mix and match, but still interesting enough to stand on their own.

    JW: What’s your favorite piece from the collection?

    WW: I love the drop crotch pants! I call them the Palm Springs pants because they are the quintessential weekend getaway piece. I wore the sample I had all the time while I was traveling and I did not want to take them off. I also really like the swing tank with the pockets at the bottom—they are perfect for carrying your cell phone.

    JW: How do you see the line evolving over time?

    WW: For me, it’s always about the awareness of the environment and what’s going on in the world. Initially, we were exploring each season being different, maybe one season will be about exploring plant-based dyes and another will be about subtle stitching that is indigenous to a certain region in the world. Of course, first and foremost, it should feel great, fit great and be pieces that you’re excited to own.

    Go here to see the whole Calmé Collection.

  • New Johnny Was Location Opening In NYC

    Johnny Was is coming to the Big Apple!  Our new store is in the heart of our favorite NYC neighborhood, the Upper West Side (270 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10023) which is known for having the perfect mix of museums, food and retail therapy. If you are in the area, be sure to stop by our new JW homebase and, while you’re there, check out some of our other favorites in the area.Alice’s Tea Cup is a first stop for any New York adventure.  Delicious treats, teas and the most charming atmosphere make this a great spot to meet friends or start your day.

    See more here:  https://alicesteacup.com/.

    A mere two blocks from our new JW Store is the home of the best Mac & Cheese in the city.  The Milling Room features amazing American Cuisine and all-around beautiful, light-filled dining room. (446 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024).

    Another Upper West Side gem, The American Folk Art Museum, is a treasure trove of work from self-taught artists from the 18th century to the present.  It is not to be missed.  Some of our favorites include the Tunebook for Daniel Zeller by Johann Freidrich Eyer (1770-1827)

    and the amazing textile selection which is truly inspiring.

    (Photo credits:  John Bielow Taylor/Sotheby’s)

    And no trip to New York would be complete without a little beauty pitstop.

    One of our all-time favorite beauty brands is Malin + Goetz and their Upper West Side outpost does not disappoint.  Full of uncomplicated, natural, luxury body, skin and hair care, and definitely worth the stop. They also do excellent travel sizes which are perfect for vacations or gym bags.

    We hope to see you soon on the Upper West Side, our first New York store!  Visit our store locator to see where we are opening next and hours for our current locations!

  • Outfits and Accessories from Johnny Was for Your Labor Day Weekend

    Planning Labor Day looks should take as little effort as possible. That extra, last day of summer break should be embraced as the final chance to fully relax and soak up the last sunny days of a great season. We are all craving something new and these four pieces will perfectly transition into your fall wardrobe.To add an extra Labor Day touch—-each of these pieces pair perfectly with white jeans.
    The Athens Top is a choice transition piece. Delicious silk patterned with fall colors and the cool hues of summer make the ultimate pairing.
    For a smart layering statement, our Leopard Bomber jacket is legendary. This year-round layering item is the greatest accompaniment to the white t-shirt. Embrace it for any season.

    One of the signature pieces from the Logan x Johnny Was collection is the Snake Ring. Snakes symbolize transition and a new start—a great piece for the beginning of the fall season. With a small diamond touch, this accessory is strong and fresh.

    The last perfect touch is one of from our new Siena Collection. The Ilaria Woven Washed Leather cross body stashes your everyday essentials while moving perfectly into cocktails with friends.


    The promise of a crisp new season and new fall arrivals are just around the corner at Johnny Was.

  • Interview with Janna Sheehan, Creator of Talia Fragrance, On Her New Ojai Wild Line


    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 in-spired 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 to-gether, 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 and 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.

    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. 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 ex-tracts, 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!

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