Ulla Johnson’s flirty, feminine clothes are some of the most coveted pieces among fashionable women worldwide, from St. Tropez to the Hamptons, from New York to Los Angeles. Johnson’s boho-chic, flattering designs are celebrity favorites, and have been seen on fashion-forward actors Emily Blunt and Katie Holmes. COVID-19 has taken its toll on the fashion industry, forcing Johnson to stay home like the rest of us. The designer spoke about her upbeat designs – so necessary now – and how she is staying connected to her team during “stop the spread.”
You launched your brand in 1998, but in recent years, its popularity has exploded. Why do you think that is?
My brand is not just about the clothes themselves but about the story, the process, the travel, the lifestyle, the heart. The creation of future heirlooms, pieces whose beauty and value transcend trends, has always been a core value, and I think this resonates now more than ever.
How would you describe your brand? Who is your target?
I would say our collections are unapologetically feminine and bold. Our pieces are optimistic.
The woman who wears our collections is a mother, possibly a professional, maybe both, or neither. She is young and old; she is mother and daughter, sister and friend. She is self-possessed and optimistic. She embraces color and pattern, and cares deeply about the integrity of what she loves. It’s our job to empower her in all these roles through her clothes.
How do you stay in touch with your team?
I miss the human interaction of our studio deeply. I’m so looking forward to being together again. The silver lining is we are now all fluent on every different channel, from video conferencing, to Slack, to old fashioned email and text!
Do you think the carefree look of recent seasons will survive the pandemic?
I think there is a need for beauty in all its forms, now more than ever. That’s what we’re focusing on. Uplifting pieces that encourage us to dream and feel beautiful. There is great power in that.
What is the best part about being at home?
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Having my children so close all day for weeks (months?!) on end. I’ve never had that before. It’s a different, complicated, yet joyful juggling act for a working mom.
How do you stay physically active?
I like to run. We’ve been so lucky with the weather and that it’s spring. I’ll always choose to be outside, surrounded by nature. The beauty of the blossoms bursting all around is so uplifting.
How do you stay mentally balanced?
I’m so grateful for Mother Nature. If I can, I like to start every morning outside, gathering some beauties from the garden to brighten up our home. Together with practicing mindfulness and kindness, these are proven soothers.
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