Johnnie-O Receives Big Investment
Johnnie-O, the preppy West Coast apparel brand for men and boys, announced this week that it has received a $108 million investment.
The new investors, Wasatch Global Investors and Ares Management Corporation, will collectively have a minority stake in the business.
Founded by John O’Donnell in 2005, who grew up in the Midwest and ended up playing golf at UCLA, the brand is designed to mesh his Midwest preppy roots with the California lifestyle he adopted in LA.
The CEO of the company is Dave Gatto, who is well known in our industry. Dave is a former president of Reef and VF Outdoor, and has served on the boards of brands such as Incase, Manduka and Stance.
“We are delighted to partner with such high caliber firms as Wasatch and Ares as we continue to grow our brand and community and build the next great iconic American brand,” Dave said in a statement.
Johnnie-O’s e-commerce channel has been a key to its success, and the brand has also expanded into wholesale and retail stores. On our trips on the East Coast we have seen the brand in a few industry stores.
Johnnie-O currently operates its own stores in Newport, Rhode Island; Fort Worth, Texas; Scottsdale, Arizona; and Miramar Beach, Florida. According to a story in WWD, the brand is also opening a store at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, California.
In a press release, the company said sales and EBITDA grew more than 80% in 2021. “The mass casualization of America” has helped propel the growth, the company said.
The brand started with polos, and has grown into a full apparel line including button-downs, bottoms, swim, outerwear and a performance line. The Chief Merchandising Officer is Chris Knott, the founder of Peter Millar.