B meets Johanna Sands
Now if you could make clothes, what would you make? I’d probably try and run up a few simple floral dresses, a couple of loose midi skirts, oh maybe a frilly shirt… reality is it took me a whole weekend, 2 sewing machines, help from a very experienced sewer and a little bit of alcohol (when it all got too much) to make (drumroll) two cushion covers. ITS HARD!
Now Johanna Sands, of her self-titled label, began handmaking leather and sheepskin jackets over 12 year ago. You might never have heard of her brand, or you might have seen it on Instagram, where Johanna often models her own wears, and might we say looks bloody amazing! But you probably haven’t heard of her as she often works on bespoke commissions, handcrafting every jacket herself using the best quality and ethically sourced materials.
Johanna has especially crafted for us, with her very own fair magic hands, four one off limited edition jackets. Two beautiful, buttery leathers and two shaggy, soft sheepskins (so curly and cosy, like wearing a very soft poodle). Both styles come in a gorgeous deep Navy and a Burgundy the colour of a delicious velvety red wine - which I could sip right now.
A LABOUR OF LOVE
I’d describe my brand as luxurious, chic and minimal. Every jacket is handmade by me in leathers, suede and sheepskin which are ethically sourced from the UK and Italy. Every zip is made to measure. Many (many, many!) hours are spent making patterns, cutting and sewing which does influence my selling price, but they really are very special, limited edition pieces not just an off the peg leather jacket.
IT’S IN THE FAMILY
I grew up surrounded by design, sewing and fashion as my mum is a designer/tailor. I worked with her from a young age and then studied fashion at Liverpool John Moore’s University. When I left University, I started making clothes for people and began to specialise in leather. When I met my husband 12 years ago he owned vintage motorbikes, which inspired me to design the perfect leather jacket and I started my label. We had our first son 11 years ago and I began making mini leather jackets for boys. I then also created 'Sons of Sands' my mini label 4 years ago.
I find inspiration from old films and style icons from the past. My latest collection is inspired by Françoise Hardy and Ali McGraw. I am always inspired by trips to Italy and Paris and my mum!
I also look to other brands and Instagram for style inspiration, such as Acne, Johanna Ortiz (B - personal fave if I had a luxury budget), The Row and Les Coyotes de Paris. Style wise I love @umeromaan @lucywilliams02, @uhlalaland.
B STYLE (Or in this case J Style)
My biker jackets are so versatile I wear them with everything, that is why I love them so much! They look good with dresses, jeans, wool trousers. Sometimes I wear my oversized leather or sheepskin jacket for a more relaxed look.
B – We can’t get enough of leather jackets, they always will have our heart and be an eternal wardrobe classic. Your wardrobe needs you! We love layering them under oversized coats too for cold winter days or trips away (New York in March rings a bell at -12 degrees). But probably a favourite look of ours with a dress and trainers, such as these Rixo dresses or this Baum und Pferdgarten Pony Print Dress.
I work from my home in Liverpool, where I live with my husband and three boys (B - her photographer/singer husband and three blonde haired, child model looking adorable boys). My favourite part of the city is The Georgian Quarter and Sefton Park and I love the Quarter for breakfast and 60 Hope Street for dinner.
ADVICE FOR DOING IT? WORK HARD, BE KIND & NEVER GIVE UP!