Angela Johnson is an Arizona based indie designer who handcrafts quirky, playful, tongue in cheek dresses from recycled fabrications. With a side show meets vaudeville retro sensibility, she pulls on vintage circus inspiration for her dresses, which have an element of coquettishness with equal measures of in your face show girl, and Victorian murder mystery drama. She produces a redesigned line of ball gowns, party and prom dresses from recycled T-shirts. Sourcing her T-shirts from thrift stores in the Arizona area, or from donations, Angela Johnson crafts unique one off designs. Customers often donate their entire T-shirt collection, which they have outgrown psychologically or physically, choosing to honor the part they played in their life story by having a custom made T-shirt party dress made from their memories of their youth. The T-shirt dresses form the basis of Angela’s collection, styles repeated year after year, but with the T-shirts always changing.
Graphic prints adorn many of her designs with mixed and matched or juxtaposed miss-matched fabric pieced and patched together. She produces an annual, rather than the more usual seasonal collection, of original, unique and limited edition designs. In addition to recycled T-shirt line, Angela also works with men’s button down shirts, recycling them into a myriad of miss-matched tops and bottoms. Angela also keeps a private client base, who she custom makes individual pieces for.
After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Design and merchandising (FIDM) LA, Angela got her first start in the industry by designing for X-Large Clothing and X-Girl, both celebrity owned collections. Moving on to start her own collection, Angela founded a street wear collection called Monkeywrench with celebrity Christie Clark from the US sitcom Days of Lives, and FIDM alum, Dana Wilson. Selling around the world, and adorning celebrities like Pamela Anderson, Christina Applegate, Tori Spelling, Leann Rimes, and many more, the Monkeywrench collection was featured on various prime time TV sitcoms and shows.
Moving back to Scottsdale, Arizona, Angela founded her own collection under her own name and began teaching at the New School for the Arts. Now with a loyal following of dedicated customers, Angela was honored by the prestigious Fashion Group International, as Arizona’s Rising Star in 2004, along with a plethora of other recognitions and awards. Angela has been featured in a plethora of US based newspapers and magazines from the Washington Post, to Daily Candy and Seventeen Magazine, as well as been featured in multiple TV shows and news reports. Angela‘s designs can be found in a handful of physical and online boutiques as well as through her website. Johnson was also a featured designer in my book Eco Fashion, published through Laurence King Publishing in the UK, and distributed through Chronicle in the US, as well as translated into Italian and Spanish.