• Memorial Day Mindfulness Tips

    Memorial Day is a holiday of reflection and contemplation.  It’s also a time to be grateful for the calm in your life before the craziness of summer arrives.

    We’ve interviewed two yogis who we think keep their Memorial Day Mindfulness and have keenly learned to live in the present.

    Wendy Zoog
    Photo Courtesy:  Stephanie Manning

    The present moment is real - I often struggle with looking into tomorrow or behind in the past. In order to experience the present moment, I like to tune into these three things: they are easy, sweet and simple.

    1) Your Five senses ( yep you know them: see, hear, feel, taste & smell ).  Look around you—notice the beautiful landscape, taste the coffee in your mouth, feel the chair under you, smell the fresh cut grass, listen to the sound of the lawn mower. Be aware of all of them!

    2) Notice your breathing—is it rapid? Try taking a slow five-count inhale and a slow seven-count exhale. When you are aware of your breathing you are fully present ! Don't ever forget it!

    3) Notice your thoughts.  They are going to come and go (inevitably) but they are just thoughts —-let them pass. If this seems challenging, go back to your breathing.  When you listen to your breath, you are unable to think about anything else.

    Awareness of these three things not only grounds me but enables me to be fully present. When we have the ability to become present we are able to give and receive so much more.

    Yogi and Kore Movement Founder, Jennifer Glass, sees Memorial Day as the perfect day to practice living in the present. “By living mindfully, you're living in the present moment—cultivating a happier well-being by truly feeling and experiencing Memorial Day. This Memorial Day, pay purposeful attention during the time you're spending with family and friends creating new memories.”

    Jennifer recommends choosing gratitude. Be mindful of the specific reason you're grateful. Take pause throughout the weekend to reflect on all the reasons you're grateful for the brave past and present Armed Forces who have impacted the freedom we all get to experience this weekend.

    How you can extend mindfulness to others this holiday weekend:

    • Pause with your family to take a "mindful moment of gratitude" and each talk about specific reasons you're grateful.
    • If you're an instructor offer free mindfulness lessons, yoga to those who previously or currently serve.
    • Lead a meditation class themed around mindfulness and gratitude.

    At Johnny Was, we always choose the present.  There’s no better time to embrace the ones you love and be grateful for the gifts of the universe.  Peace & Enjoy!

  • What's in Store? Our May Johnny Was Playlist!

    If you’re a regular in a Johnny Was store, you’ll probably notice that we change up the vibe with each new collection—that’s fairly often since we have beautiful fresh in-store deliveries every month. During May, it’s no surprise that we’re in the mood for spring—look for vases of bold yellow Gerber Daisies, our new collab with jewelry designer Logan Hollowell and luxe favorites from all our collections. What you probably can’t see, is that each month we also create a custom playlist to accentuate the feel-good mood. Below is an upbeat, we-heard-it-first list that you may want to check out for your own spring fling. Happy shopping, happy dancing, and happy Spring!

    The Naked and Famous

    Everything But the Girl

    Tom Petty

    Rolling Stones

    Bob Marley

    Vance Joy

    Fleetwood Mac

    Steve Miller Band

    Stevie Nicks

    Sheryl Crow

  • Celebrating the Most Important Lady In Your Life

    Sure, you already know that May 14th is Mother’s Day…the day that moms everywhere get celebrated with brunch and presents. At Johnny Was we like to salute all types of mamas; whether you’re an aunt, godmother, pet owner, mentor, or a maternal figure in someone’s life; they are all important and life-changing. As the saying goes, babies are born from the womb, maternity is born from the soul.

    For some nurturing wisdom, we reached our to Zhena Muzyka, a mother of two, who started the business Zhena’s Gypsy Tea when her son, Sage, now 16, was born with a life-threatening birth defect. Years later, the business became a multi-million dollar enterprise that not only paid for his medical expenses but also empowered the female tea leaf pickers in India and Sri Lanka whom she employed. Nowadays, Zhena is a celebrated author, public speaker and runs Enliven Books, (http://simonandschusterpublishing.com/enliven/ ) a division of Simon & Schuster, that specializes in holistic tomes. Her ultimate mission is to inspire people to find their life’s mission and make the world a better place through humanitarian and environmental initiatives—all with her own infectious sense of humor and caring.

    Happy family (clockwise from top left): Gerard, Sage, Zhena and Mia

    What does being a mom mean to you?

    ZM: For me, it’s the role of my lifetime. My kids are my everything and, ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to be a mom. I’m even mothering in other relationships; I mother my friends, my employees; I just love the archetype.

    What are some of your mom secrets?

    ZM: There’s no golden rule and I ask myself at least once a day, “am I doing a good job?” For me, it’s been about discovering who my kids really are, and realizing that I don’t have that much influence on that. For instance, my son Sage really doesn’t enjoy school and that was hard for me to accept because, as most parents, I want my child to be a high achiever. I’ve had to learn what type of person he is, an old soul who loves art, photography, and music. My daughter, Mia, who is seven, is wild but has this encyclopedic knowledge of animals, that even blows away our local vet!

    Do you have strong family rituals?

    ZM: We have a family altar in our house. Right now, it’s got a buddha, a Guan Yin (known as the Goddess of mercy in East Asia), a Ganesha (the Indian god of wisdom), and a ton of rocks because Mia collects them, flowers from the garden and incense. We do seasonal altars and everyone adds something. Other things are our family mission statement; we write it up and everybody signs it. Basically, it says to slow down, notice what we like about each other and do good work.

    What about our other favorite mom, Mother Nature?

    ZM: One of the most important things for me, and for my kids, is to learn where your food comes from, and we’re lucky living in California that we can meet the farmers who produce the food we eat. We go to the farmer’s market every weekend and also have a composter in our backyard which I make the kids get out and turn. Another thing I like to do is always offset our carbon footprint when we fly—it’s worth it for me to pay that little bit extra to do a little good.

    For more info on what you can do go to www.terrapass.com/ or www.cooleffect.org

    What’s the best way that you’ve learned to take of yourself as a woman and mother?

    ZM: I would say my daily Transcendental Meditation (http://www.tm.org/ ) practice is the key to my sanity. Even this morning I was feeling stressed, running around trying to get Mia to school and I had an important conference call for work. When I was done, I did a quick 20-minute meditation and it makes me feel like I have a little more space in my day. It changes the voice in my head from “you’re never going to catch up” to “you’re never going to catch up but that’s OK.”

    So this May 14th, take the time to celebrate yourself and all you do. Whether it’s a walk in nature, dinner with family and friends or a luxurious facial, we support and love it all. xo Johnny Was

  • How to Clean Up Your Diet

    After months of chilly weather and rich food, May is the perfect time to spring clean your fridge and your diet. The most common signs that your body could use a little lightening up after months filled with cocktails and comfort foods are sugar cravings, trouble sleeping, lethargy and bloating. Now, we’re not suggesting you go on a complete culinary makeover, you can make some gentle tweaks, and—here’s the good news—with the temperatures climbing you’ll probably find that you naturally want to switch your pasta dinner for something lighter. To help jumpstart your new plan, we asked vegan chef and epitome of glowing health, Sinae Kim, a chef at Food Flo in Los Angeles for easy tips on what to do, as well as one of her favorite recipes—it’s an easy one, we swear. Bon appetit!

    JW: What’s your food philosophy?

    SK: Simply put, just eat real food, and that means consuming foods that are as close to their natural state as possible because that’s when they have the highest nutrients and are easiest for your body to absorb. Of course, all bodies are designed differently and we all need different things, but I believe that a diet that is mostly made up of plant foods is the best way to maintain good health.

    JW: What are foods that everyone should try and work into their diet?

    SK: Incorporating raw foods is a great way to boost your overall health. Also, fermented foods are a great way to nurture the digestive system (think Kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles or probiotic yogurt). I also like to use a lot of nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains but always try to soak them, as this makes them easier to digest. Also, switching from regular salt to Himalayan sea salt is a great trick because it aids the metabolism

    JW: What are things I should try and cut out of my diet?

    SK: If you can, cut out or reduce refined sugar and white flour. If you have a sweet tooth, I like to sweeten things with raw sugar cane juice, and also to eat naturally sweet things like dates and other dried fruits when I get a craving.

    JW: Sugar isn’t my thing, but chips are, what can I do about that?

    SK: If you are not ready to trade your potato chips for kale chips, at least switch to baked snacks. If you have a craving for a certain type of food, there is always a healthier alternative.

    JW: OK, give us an easy recipe that we all can make!

    SK: Sure, here’s my version of a pesto sauce, that I like to put over kelp noodles.

    Kelp Noodles

    —1 bag noodles

    —1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    —1 tsp agave

    —1 tsp olive oil

    Pesto

    2 C fresh basil
    1 clove garlic
    1⁄2 C cashew (soaked in water for at least 30 minutes)

    1⁄4 C hemp seeds
    1.5 Tablespoon lemon juice

    1.5 Tablespoon olive oil
    1⁄4 C halved cherry tomatoes Salt and pepper to taste.

    Instructions :
    Cut kelp noodles in half and rinse well. Soak in warm water with baking soda for about 10 minutes. Drain noodles; add tamari, olive oil, and agave.

    While the noodles are marinating, blend all the pesto ingredients in a food processor. Add sauce to noodles and tomatoes and mix well by hand. Garnish with fresh basil.

    For more great recipes or healthy eating ideas, here are some of our favorite cookbooks to check out.

    Clean Eats by Alexandro Junger M.D.

    Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi

    Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Simple Satisfying Plant Based Recipes by Angela Liddon

    Photography by Reuben Reynoso.

     

  • Day Trips With Johnny Was: Charlotte, NC

    Charlotte, N.C., is topping our list as the perfect destination for art, culture, food and scenery. The new Johnny Was store, at the city’s South Park Mall, is loaded with southern charm and fresh, airy looks that are perfect for the season. Let’s take a day trip!

    The first stop is the Charlotte Sign at The Green. With distance pointer markers of different “Charlotte” cities around the world, this is a definite must-do (and must photograph) on your agenda.  The Green, a so-called “Pocket Park,” is surrounded by the city’s most famous museums—The Mint Museum and The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. The park also celebrates literature from around the world with cool sculptures like oversized bronzed books and quotes by famous writers in a truly magical setting.

    Other art works worth checking out? The Firebird Sculpture in Downtown Charlotte is considered a “jewel in the crown of Charlotte’s public art.”  As the story goes, Andreas Bechtler, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art’s benefactor, purchased the sculpture after seeing it at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in 2006.

    “When I saw the Firebird, I knew it was outstanding and would be great for the museum,” Bechtler said during the unveiling. “The Firebird is joyful, uplifting and engaging. It makes you feel that life is good.”

    At a staggering 17-feet-5-inches tall and weighing 1,433 pounds, the sculpture is hand decorated with more than 7,500 pieces of mirrored and colored glass, casting different reflections with the passing sun and shadows.

    Another cultural highlight; the Charlotte Ballet is celebrating it’s outgoing artistic director with a special performance entitled

    INSPIRED WORKS (JUNE 1-3, 2017).  This will showcase a fusion of all the ballets of outgoing director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, who created the lineup from audience and choreographer favorites.

    Lastly, no day trip is complete without a cappuccino break. Amélie’s French Bakery & Café is famous for its french pastries, lavender lemonade and, our personal pick, the mixed berry tart.  Check out the locations for Amelie’s here.

    So grab your camera, walking shoes and expect a day trip filled with art, music and sweet treats!

  • Expert Tips on How to Relieve Stress and Get Grounded

    Sometimes we lose our footing, feeling unfocused and ungrounded. With the stresses of everyday living—from the mundane to massive—it’s easy to become overwhelmed. We’ve all had that thought of, “I wish I could just switch my brain off!” So, since April is National Stress Awareness Month, we asked Shari Geitzenauer, an energy medicine practitioner—and Johnny Was fan—who lives in the Santa Monica Mountains, for her thoughts on what we can do to get centered, and feel better in the skin we’re in.

    JW: What are the signs of someone who needs to get grounded?

    SG: It’s that feeling of being stuck, when your life isn’t working and you’re having a hard time figuring out what action to take next, or what decision to make. A lot of times there are also physical manifestations like lack of sleep, anxious thoughts or weird pains, which is often blocked energy in the body. Also, if you keep making wrong choices for yourself—like dating someone inappropriate or drinking too much alcohol—that’s another big sign you need to look inward.

    JW: It sounds like it can happen to anybody, what are some simple ways that someone can get more grounded?

    SG: For me, the easiest way is to start the day with a quick meditation, I’ve been doing that for fifteen years. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, sometimes I’ll just sit, and close my eyes for ten minutes. Each day is different, some days it’s an hour—my mind can get very still—and others it’s jumping all over the place. I don’t set a timer but a lot of people do. Just sit, close your eyes and listen to your breathing—that’s the most important part—conscious breathing can slow down the body and help you tune into your intuition. For more meditation techniques go to how-to-meditate.org

     JW: Sometimes it’s hard to sit still, what about if I like to move?

    SG: Getting out into nature, wherever you live, always helps. I go hiking in Topanga Canyon everyday; there’s something about being outside and active that stops all the crazy thoughts. Also, being in nature gets you away from a lot of that busy chatter that we use to fill up our minds, such as the radio, TV or the internet.

    JW: Does unplugging from technology help?

    SG: Absolutely. Unplugging from technology on a daily basis is really important. Especially if you are looking for help in making a big life decision, getting quiet is key. We spend so much time distracting ourselves with our cell phones and the computer; I think everyone can benefit from less texting, less emails and less planning if you are someone who is constantly booking up your schedule.

    JW: How long does it take to feel any benefits?

    SG: Think of this a lifelong journey, it’s a way of life. If you start eating healthy and doing yoga a few times a week, you’ll feel better. You don’t have to make drastic changes, just think of it as giving yourself a little bit of down time. Plus, once you have the awareness that something is off in your body, it will instantly feel better to change.

    For more info on Shari and her work go to www.dreamcatchershari.com

    Photography by Reuben Reynoso

  • Introducing Our New Jewelry Collaboration: Logan X Johnny Was

    When we started looking around for an inspiring jewelry collaborator, we didn’t have to look far; just a few miles west to Venice Beach where Logan Hollowell creates some of the most covetable and wearable pieces we’ve ever seen. “I’d been asked to do collaborations before, but it hasn’t felt right,” says the designer who grew up in North Carolina, but arrived in LA a few years ago to pursue a career in fashion. “I was looking for a brand that has the same core values and beliefs and Johnny Was encapsulates that.” Here’s a sneak peek at some of her favorite pieces, her inspiration and how to layer jewelry to exemplify your own personal style.

    JW: What made Johnny Was the right fit for a jewelry collaboration?
    LH: There’s a timeless quality to the Johnny Was aesthetic that resonates with me, and it’s a collection that is loved by a wide age group. It’s bursting with creativity, as well as being inspiring to a free-spirited woman who likes to travel and definitely isn’t afraid of color. Personally, I’m a big fan of colorful clothes—so many women in fashion only wear black—and I’ve actually had people come up to me in the past and comment on how refreshing it is to see a woman wearing something bold.

    JW: How did you get inspired for this collaboration?
    LH: I’m never short of ideas, I have books and books of sketches and concepts. I also created a mood board of Johnny Was clothing, inspiring quotes, symbols, and things that I think represent the brand. I set out to design a really solid mix of pieces, something for every price point and taste. There’s some 18K gold vermeil that starts at $100, and there are solid 14K gold pieces that cap out at $2450. I also love to use stones and gems because they have grounding and healing qualities—diamonds are my favorite because they are unbreakable and make the wearer feel protected.

    JW: What’s your favorite piece from the Logan X Johnny Was collection?
    LH: I love the snake ring and cuff. Not only is it a great fluid shape, but snakes have for centuries symbolized fertility and birth, but not always in the traditional sense of having children. For me, it’s about creative fertility, and having an abundance of thoughts and ideas. To make these pieces feel extra luxe, I added some tiny diamonds as well.

    JW: Are there any tips for buying or wearing jewelry?
    LH: I don’t really have any hard and fast rules, just buy what you love. For necklaces, I like the layered look, so a couple of different pieces of varying lengths. If you are someone who wears your hair up a lot, try earrings as a signature piece. Personally, I always wear a lot of rings because I think they are the ultimate statement piece and everybody sees them. Most of us use our hands a lot when we gesture so it’s a great way to show off your personal style.

    JW: How much jewelry do you personally wear on a daily basis?
    LH: Oh jeez, lots. Let’s just say that when I go and get a massage it takes me about 5 minutes to remove all my jewelry before I lie down on the table!

    Discover the entire collection here.

  • How the Women of Johnny Was Wear Our New Jeans

     

    A few months ago, we came out with Johnny Was Blue, our collection of premier denim jeans. Designer and denim guru, Christie Whitley (she’s the lovely one with the pink hair in these pics) kept it simple and chic—3 styles, a few different washes, the best denim we could get our hands on, and a fit that’s flattering on every body type. “During the design process, it took months for me to get the perfect fit and I always had friends and staffers trying them on,” says Whitley.


    Here’s just a few of the women who work at our Los Angeles headquarters, all showing off how to wear the new JW Blue—different figures, different personal styles, all looking absolutely fabulous.

    Christy Whitley, Designer, Johnny Was Blue

    “I designed the denim so of course I love them all, but the Flare is probably my favorite, because I feel like I look taller and slimmer. Also, I love the whole 70’s rock ’n roll vibe, so I like to pair them with a pair of heels and a vintage-inspired shirt, like this one, or even a vintage band T-shirt.” 

    Lola Wyler, Associate Designer

    “I always wear a skinny jean. I’ve got hips, so I feel like this silhouette really works on me and these are an amazing fit. If I’m going out I like to add a wedge sandle, to give me a bit of height, and a cool leather jacket. I’m also a huge fan of military or bomber jackets and, unlike most women, I prefer my denim without a belt.”

    Meredith Cunningham, Senior Graphic Artist

    “I was anti-jeans until a couple of years ago, I only used to wear skirts and dresses but now I appreciate a good, slouchy boyfriend jean with a lower rise. I guess what converted me to the denim bandwagon was that it’s just so easy. I love to wear my jeans with pointy boots and I picked this silk cami under the leather jacket because I thought it was a nice feminine touch.” 

    Rebecca Garland, Assistant Merchandiser

    “I’m on the curvy side, so I like my jeans with a skinny slim fit; anything too wide feels like I’m just adding bulk to my frame. I love a really dark jean and often times I’ll take them to the tailor to get the waist nipped in a bit so they have a perfect fit. I like a medium rise—9” or 10”—and I’ll add a cool, chunky belt because it shows off my waist.”

    Michelle Gross, Graphic Artist

    “I have a bit more of a boho sensibility and I like a skinny jean because I feel like they really hold you in. I wear jeans all the time and prefer a really dark blue or black wash, and you can’t go wrong pairing them with a great white top. I’m also a bit of a shoe nerd, I have tons of them, and I always pair my denims with a heel because it elongates my legs.”

    There you have it. “When it comes to jeans, wear whatever you feel comfortable in,” adds Whitley. These women are proof positive that any style or figure can find (and fall in love) with a pair of jeans.

    Johnny Was Blue is currently available at all 20 of our retail locations as well as on our website.

  • Scarf Savvy Sunday: Fiesta Scarf

    In her latest book, Celebrate Everything, Darcy Miller gives you all the essentials to plan the perfect party. Divided into two parts, “The Party Handbook,” and “The Party Playbook,” she gives step-by-step details on how to take any event to the next level.
    As an editor for Martha Stewart, Darcy delivers her second book with serious street cred, having planned some of the most photographed and famous events in modern history.

     

     

    Johnny Was is celebrating spring accessories with the Fiesta Scarf. The Spanish word for party (and for festival) is the best name for this Johnny Was Signature Silk. With brightly colored tassels, a lively border and just the right amount of flowers, this piece is sure to delight!

    See Darcy’s book here.

  • How to Pack for Coachella the JW Way

    Whether you’re a music festival regular or a first-timer, there are a few simple packing tips to guarantee your weekend is snafu-free. We asked Sherrie G., who has gone to Coachella an impressive thirteen times, for her fool-proof tips on arriving (and staying) in style. “My whole philosophy for Coachella is that it’s about absorbing as much music as you can, without getting a bad sunburn,” she laughs. “Also, I love every desert sunset I've seen over those polo grounds —the sky turns at least 6 different colors every night and it is something to stop and appreciate every time; so is the people watching.” To help you enjoy everything from sunsets to guitar heroes, here’s her packing pointers.

    The Right Bags: You’ll probably want two bags, one with all you clothes and other goods in it—we like a nice duffle like our Paige Weekend Bag that you can leave in your tent or hotel room, as well as a smaller bag that you’ll carry as you are checking out music. A back pack style like our Arwen Backpack is great because your hands will be free and it cinches shut easily.

    Biggest Packing Mistakes: Not having a wide variety of comfortable clothes. “There have been a few years where it did get chilly at night. It is a good idea to share a locker with your friends and leave a flannel or a hoodie in there for night time use,” suggests Sherrie. To reserve your locker ahead of time go here. Also, pack the comfiest t-shirts you own and give yourself at least 2 per day, in case one gets sweat-soaked, spilled on or wet.

    Top Five Purse Items: When walking around during the day, all the bulky items will be left in your tent (or hotel room) but you’ll want some incidentals to ensure a snag—and sunburn—free day. First up is big hat for sun protection. “Pick a sun hat with a chin strap so you can let it fall behind you when you don't need it,” adds Sherrie. Other must-haves are a good sunscreen (pick a cream over a spray because it’s easier to apply if it’s windy), a reusable water bottle, a schedule of events, and a cell phone charger or battery pack. “Sometimes it can be tricky to find a charging station so a battery pack is optimal; you’ll want to check in with friends from time to time and upload all those obligatory stage pics to Instagram.”

    What To Wear: Wear breathable fabrics and closed-toed shoes (unless you want seriously dusty feet). “Some gals throw on a bikini, pull on some jean shorts and wear a light cover up, or lovely flow-y cotton dress is also great,” says Sherrie. “but whatever you do, skip the jeans since you are in the desert and you’ll get super hot.”

    Want more packing advice? Check out this video on how to make the most of your festival experience.

    Also, check out the Coachella website for the complete line-up of music, what to eat, where to park and other weekender tips.

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