Designer Spotlight: Ulla Johnson

Ulla Johnson is known for her vibrant prints and feminine silhouettes. Her garments have a distinct craftsmanship and a traditional flavour. She works with craftsmen from around the world to design and produce her garments. She works directly with female artisans across the globe. Every year, she finds an excuse to leave her Brooklyn home, and travel, collaborating with a myriad of cultural communities to produce a single collection. In 2019 alone, she travelled to Argentina, Kenya, the Galápagos, Uruguay, the Yucatán, Seville, the Dolomites, Sicily, Peru and the Cornish Riviera.  

Born to archeaologists, she grow up with a mother who collected artefacts, textiles and jewellery on her travels. Ulla told The New York Times Style Magazine, “I’ve always believed that things made by hand carry an emotional weight and spiritual energy. This philosophy is present in her designs and how hands on she is with her process. Which is why when you wear an Ulla Johnson piece, it is reminiscent of a rare find.  

Take Ulla Johnson’s Resort ‘20 collection as an example. Johnson travelled to Kenya and worked with womens' collectives and used traditional prints as inspiration and fodder for the collection. All her Resort ‘20 jewellery was also made by collectives in rural Kenya. Johnson’s holistic hands on approach, borrows from global traditions and craftsmanship without appropriating those traditions and peoples because she actively works with craftsmen to financially and culturally uplift them.  

Her latest innovation: Hand Printed Wax Resistent Cloth was made in partnership with Mariama Fashion Production artisans in Cote D’Ivoire with Renee as the lead batiker. And then stitched by her partners in India. We hope more brands will learn from her sustainable and uplifting practices for a healthy cross cultural exchange.  

Shop Ulla Johnson right here.