• Introduction to Mindfulness

    The world is a busy place, and most of us spend our days rushing from Point A to Point B with no real connection to our thoughts, emotions or basic needs. Our culture is undeniably sleep-deprived, distracted and overstressed… and that takes a serious toll on our overall well-being. At Johnny Was, we believe that inspiration is wherever you find it, but it’s hard to get inspired when you’re disconnected from your innermost self. If you’re in need of some inner peace, then the pursuit of mindfulness is an excellent place to start.

    What is Mindfulness?

    Mindfulness is defined as “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something,” and it also refers to “a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.”

    Many people instantly equate mindfulness with meditation. While the two are certainly connected, they’re not one and the same. Meditating can help you feel more centered and calm, but its primary goal is to move beyond the mind to find a sense of stillness. Mindfulness is the ongoing process of making yourself more aware of your innermost thoughts as well as your present surroundings.

    8 Important Concepts of Mindfulness

    Mindfulness requires a great deal of practice and patience -- but its therapeutic impact is incredibly rewarding. The following concepts can help you learn to become more mindful in your everyday life.

    1. Mindful Intention

    One of the most common barriers to mindfulness is our society’s idolization of multi-tasking. Many people juggle such a wide variety of personal and professional tasks each day that we miss out on the day altogether. From work deadlines and family responsibilities to long lists of never-ending chores, most of us are so overwhelmed that we only stop to eat or sleep -- and even those activities are hurried or neglected. Take the first step toward a more mindful tomorrow by de-cluttering your life and simplifying your routine. Ask yourself what really needs accomplished each day, and prioritize your to-do list accordingly.

    1. Mindful Listening

    All too often, we spend our days so caught up in our own thoughts that we don’t give the people around us the attention they deserve. Mindfulness encourages you to actively listen to others rather than zoning out, daydreaming or crafting the perfect reply. When you really, truly listen to a person’s words and body language, you can drastically improve your day-to-day communication and avoid potential misunderstandings.

    1. Mindful Creativity

    All work and no play makes for a dull existence. Find a hobby that you love, take an art class, experiment with new clothes or start a journal. Engaging in creative pursuits helps you on your path to self-discovery and allows you to become better acquainted with your true desires. It’s also an incredibly productive way to de-stress.

    1. Mindful Exploration

    Our planet is full of amazing sights to see, and there’s so much to explore. Spend more time in the great outdoors, travel to new cities or just take occasional day trips to surrounding towns. Awaken your inner wanderluster, and get to know the world around you.

    1. Mindful Reflection

    It’s surprisingly easy to go through your daily routine without giving a second thought to your own thoughts, emotions, wants and needs. Challenge yourself to take regular timeouts and reflect on each day to help nurture your self-awareness. You’ll likely make some important discoveries along the way, such as what you actually want out of life (and what you can do without.)

    1. Mindful Solitude

    Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, mindfulness requires getting comfortable in your own skin. Center yourself for the day ahead with a cup of coffee in the morning, or unwind at night with a soothing bath. Solitude is one of the best ways to acknowledge your deepest thoughts and emotions.

    1. Mindful Self-Care

    How we treat our bodies is a direct reflection of how mindful we are in our everyday lives. Nutritious food, regular exercise and restful sleep are critically important to your overall health, and they provide you with a strong foundation for mindful living.

    1. Mindful Appreciation

    Every day is a gift, and there’s so much in life to be thankful for. Take the time to acknowledge the positives on even the most stressful of days, and spend less energy on the things you can’t control. Positive thinking does wonders for your emotional well-being, and it’s an essential part of living a mindful life.

    Where do you find your inspiration, and how do you practice mindfulness each day? Let us know your tried-and-true techniques for mindful living in the comments below.

  • It's Our 30th Anniversary!

    This November, our brand celebrates 30 years of timeless style, global visions, and California dreams... and we’re throwing a party for our big 3-0!

    Join us as we commemorate three decades of inspiration, exotic detailing, artisan craftsmanship and bold style. In honor of reaching this significant milestone, we’re holding an in-store party on Thursday, November 2nd to help us show our appreciation to the people we owe it all to: you! For one day only, enjoy 20% off purchases under $300 or 30% off purchases of $300 inside your local Johnny Was store.

    Just like the universal appeal of a great song, Johnny Was is about clothes that cross cultures and defy trends. We create apparel and accessories that embrace a California lifestyle but speak to a global vision, and we think the gorgeous details in life are what make it beautiful. That’s why our designs are crafted with the most exquisite embroidery, luxurious fabrics, and effortless silhouettes; a juxtaposition between vintage and modern that’s uniquely timeless and always alluring.

    We invite you to celebrate our 30th anniversary on November 2nd in-stores, and let us thank you for making Johnny Was what it is today with exclusive savings, sweet treats, and fun festivities.

    Cheers to 30 years!

    The Johnny Was Team

  • How to Get Through the Holiday Season (With Your Sanity)

    As magical as the holidays are, with friends and loved ones coming together, it’s also a time of stress and never-ending to-do lists. Recently, Johnny Was had the honor of co-hosting a wellness event at The Lotus Feed, a retreat center in Sonoma County, California, alongside Amy Cox, creator of Omstead, an organization that helps to organize community building experiences that incorporate nutrition, well-being, and mindfulness. For a long weekend, we got to experience the beauty of being around smart women, early morning yoga classes and how to treat ourselves with love and respect, as well as the importance of being present in our day-to-day (see these pics for a visual diary of our stay). Since Amy is a beacon of positivity, we also asked her for tips on how to stay mindful during the holiday season.

    A great example of thoughtful gifting? Each woman at the retreat was asked to pick out a JW silk scarf that resonated with them.

    1). Get in the spirit of lists: Instead of a last minute dash to the mall for gifts, start now by making a thorough list. Write out the names of those you want to acknowledge during the holidays, then next to each person, write down what you think makes them unique—whether it’s their listening skills, sense of humor or homemade muffins—figuring out what you really appreciate about someone can make gift buying easier.

    Omstead founder Amy Cox, is all about seed-to-table conscious consuming.

    2). Don’t sweat the cookie tray: There’s nothing wrong with indulging a little at the holidays—it’s par for the course. Try and change your inner dialogue so instead of saying, “I can’t believe I drank eggnog because it’s so rich and now my pants won’t fit!”, try the conscious route with, “So happy I tried the eggnog because I know it’s Joe’s special family recipe. It did remind me that I don’t feel the best when I consume dairy so let’s just re-energize with some water.” As with everything, if you just stay present in the moment and appreciate the experience, you won’t feel so much guilt.

    Our bounty over the weekend. “Good nutrition isn’t about depriving yourself,” says Cox.

    3). Make room for those that matter most: It’s easy to feel bogged down by social obligations at the holidays. We can get caught up in a fear of pleasing others and do what seems “right”. If you feel overwhelmed by events, remember there are a ton of ways to reach out. Perhaps you can’t make your boss’ holiday party but could take them out for coffee or drop off a small gift? If sending holiday cards to someone special feels impersonal, you can always reach out with a call, or even a heartfelt text can be appropriate.

    Catherine Nation (left) and Theresa McAllen (right), both from Johnny Was, start the day with a morning, me-time meditation.

    4): Schedule in some me time: It’s easy to overlook our own needs but if you want to scoot through the holidays with your sanity intact, make it a priority. It’s perfectly fine to say, “thanks so much for the invite to your party, but I have a prior engagement.” No one needs to know that your engagement is with your bathtub and a good book. Or, if your weekly yoga class is one of the big stress relievers in your life, it’s worth keeping it on your schedule.

    Take some time for yourself to recharge, refocus and do something you love.

    “The bottom line is if you let yourself get quiet, and try to make a decision from your heart instead of with your head, you’ll end up taking care of yourself and others in the process,” says Cox. We are sure that doing so will make your holidays will be joyous.

  • Behind the Makers: Get to Know Designer Theresa McAllen

    Each month our team of visionaries delivers inspired collections with everything from the perfect skinny jean to our signature embroidered tunics. Here, we sat down with Theresa McAllen, head designer for 3J Workshop and JWLA, to discuss her design style, inspirations and whose closet she'd like to raid.

    JW: When did you first realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?

    TM: Well, I began sewing at age nine but my first “Theresa” design (without a Vogue pattern) was at age 14—I cut a halter dress out of my white cotton bed sheet, sewed it free-hand, and proceeded for two weeks to hand-embroider the entire piece with landscapes, palm trees, sunrises, bees, flowers and peace signs. When I wore it to high school, all my friends wanted one!

    JW: As one of the head designers for Johnny Was, you’re obviously a fan of the boho-chic aesthetic. What do you love most about this style?

    TM: Boho for me equals timeless style. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and I think those of us who grew up in LA are drawn to a laid-back, wanderlust lifestyle— a little hippie, a little adventurer, a little free spirit, a little rebellious.

    JW: Tell us about your creative process. What does a typical day look like for you?

    TM:  We work a little differently than other fashion companies in that art is our main focus so there’s a very talented team of graphic designers working for months at a time on our  embroideries—they have a hand stitched look which is always inspired by different cultures and handicrafts. For each new collection, I study our best sellers, and then sit down with my team to brainstorm. I love color and mixing unique combos to create an unexpected outcome.

    JW: What’s the main source of your inspiration?

    TM: Travel. Without a doubt. Seeing different parts of the world is truly inspiring, and also a common thread throughout all our collections. Some of my recent trips have been to Tulum, Mexico and Begur in Spain.  I was recently in New York for the opening of our Johnny Was Columbus Street store. While there, I went to check out Bergdorf Goodman and took a photo of their windows which said, “TRAVEL is our favorite COLOR!”  Travel is our favorite color, and what makes our collections, and I believe our pieces so unique.

    JW: How would you describe your personal style?

    TM: The question I ask myself when getting dressed is, "Is it chic?" I’m drawn to color and craftsmanship, so I would say my style is sophisticated with a twist. I like unexpected combinations, mixing high-end designers with some elevated basics, and of course, I wear Johnny Was, especially our outerwear pieces since I’m a big fan of layering.

    Most of us don’t really need much today, we have it all, but we seem to gravitate toward those pieces that speak to our personal style, pieces that bring us joy.

    JW: What fashion trends do you hope to see emerge in the coming years?

    TM: At Johnny Was we see the future moving into sustainable, eco fashion. It’s a big concern for our customers and the world at large. We recently launched a sustainable, locally sourced collection called “Calme” -- it’s more basics with a twist, and the calm in the midst of our eclectic embroideries and patterns. It launched in fall 2017, and so far, it’s been a huge hit!

    JW: If you could swap closets with one person in the world, who would you choose and why?

    TM: Victoria Beckham! I’m a petite woman like she is, and I feel she dresses for herself and perfectly epitomizes self-expression teamed with an undeniable chic.

    JW: What advice would you offer fashion design hopefuls who wish to follow in your footsteps?

    TM: Find your joy and your passion, travel and expand your world, focus on pattern-making and draping to develop your craft, believe in yourself and never, ever, ever give up!

  • 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.

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