Jen Johnson might be one of the few people you’ll meet these days who’s happy to have been laid off.
The 36-year-old Huntington Beach native created the popular punk-and-mod-centric clothing label (touted many times before by the Weekly) called E.C. Star—the E.C. standing for “Electric Chair,” the “alternative-lifestyle” Huntington Beach punk clothing store—some 13 years ago, but was laid off last fall.
It’s all for the better, Johnson says now in retrospect: She, along with friends Jennifer Daking, 29, and Erica Daking, 28, of Los Angeles, now finally had time to start up Dainty June—a whimsical label based on the simplicity of youth the Daking sisters had been mulling over for years.
The sisters already own their own clothing label—with its own little pudgeball Boston Terrier mascot—called All Mighty (all-mighty.net), so all three were no strangers to the fashion industry.
The inspiration for “She’s Like a Rainbow,” the summer collection for Dainty June (yes, that’s a Gypsy reference), came as a result of Jennifer and Erica coming across pieces of clothing from their childhood: patterns, tiny dresses, little skirts. Johnson added her own memories to the mix.
“We wanted to do an updated version, taking from the elements of [the girls’ clothing] that we loved the most—turning it into a collection that told the story that only could have been named ‘She’s Like a Rainbow,’?” Johnson explains.
Curlicue script, a rainbow and a couple of daisies make up the Dainty June logo—and it couldn’t be any more appropriate. With its pleasant color palette, each piece in the collection has a retro vibe reminiscent of early-’70s girls’ clothing and a slight Lolita-esque charm that has been updated for modern audiences.
“We all feel like we could have worn any of these designs from the time when we were 12 and could see ourselves wearing them 20 years from now,” Johnson says. “We think they’re for everyone that has classic but playful style.”
Though the three have no plans to set up an online storefront for Dainty June, they promise the clothing will be widely available through other online outlets.
Dainty June is currently working on their fall line, thanks to an overwhelming response to the label.
When asked if they had accessories in the works, Johnson responds, “We’d love to incorporate bags, shoes, the whole enchilada! But we’re taking it slow and want to build a solid brand and bring in each separate division one at a time—so you gotta wait for your Dainty June beer cozy and yo-yo.”
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Dainty June hits stores nationwide in, yes, June. See www.daintyjune.com for a list of stores and details.
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