Today we’d like to introduce you to Danielle Johnigan.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
From the time I was pretending to go bowling and actually sneaking into a 16 years and up dance club, in Northern California, I set my sight on a career in the music industry.
How a girl with no ties to the entertainment industry, from a tiny town in Northern California, was going to navigate her way to a career in the LA music scene was going to be a bit of an adventure. After high school, I was offered a track & field scholarship to two Division 1 college – a school in Arkansas and a school in LA. I went with the LA-based College for obvious reasons. Directly upon graduation, I was able to get a job with an eccentric Music Supervisor, my first “real” music industry job.
After working for 1 year with the Music Supervisor, I started to “shop” my resume to entertainment-based employment agencies – eventually, I got lucky! In the end, a 2-day temp assignment turned into a 4-year opportunity at Virgin Records. My career in music began in the A&R department. While at Virgin Records, I was afforded the opportunity to work with an eclectic roster of artists which included Kelis, N.E.R.D, Nikka Costa and The Spice Girls. After working at Virgin Records and later Interscope Records, I became the International Urban Marketing & Promotion representative at Capitol Records.
I traveled the world managing successful global releases and promotional campaigns for multi-platinum artists such as Faith Evans, LeToya Luckett, and Van Hunt. I transitioned to merchandising for a subsidiary of AEG Live, where I was promoted to lead the Retail and Wholesale departments for artists like A$AP Rocky, The Who, Miles Davis, and Bob Dylan. After becoming a mom to 2 daughters, it was a natural evolution to create my own company, mixing my passion and interests for Music, Art, Photography, and Fashion.
ONEST HOMME is born from the French expression “Honnete Homme”: The honest (hu)man is a model of humanity that appeared in the seventeenth century. This idea of living gave birth to « le Bon goût » (good taste). The brand is an urban concept owned by a woman with a new and unique vision for an aesthete clientele empowering a clear message… be “ONEST.”
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It was actually a natural transition to move from working as a Director of Retail at a music apparel company to running my own apparel company. Of course, starting a company has not been met without any challenges such as working from home with 2 children under the age of 4 (eeek!). Having said that, though it’s all been well worth the independence of working for myself and being able to spend time with my little ladies during these important formative years.
A recent challenge has been trying to get my products placed in the HBO series Insecure. I’m hopeful that it will happen as my products fit perfectly with “Issa Dee” (Issa Rae’s character), I’ll keep the faith Ayanna James, the show’s costume designer, will pick up one of my pieces to be featured on the show or even a photoshoot with this stylish Issa Rae. Maybe she’ll even read this article? (Fingers crossed!)
Please tell us about ONEST HOMME.
ONEST HOMME specializes in creating fashion-forward apparel which is developed in the spirit of fine art rather than a run-of-the-mill graphic t-shirt. Actually being an “honest” company is what makes me the proudest. Onest Homme will NEVER produce an item featuring an iconic figure without first acquiring clearance for usage of the artist image.
Offering exclusive, never before seen imagery by talented French photographer Xavier De Nauw, is what truly sets Onest Homme apart from the other streetwear brands – no recycled images here! There have been some very proud moments thus far. For example, Onest Homme has already been the subject of a few key features on Hypebeast and referred to as a “brand to watch.” Along with this, Desus from the hit late-night show “Desus & Mero” (Vice) has worn several pieces on the show.
Creating little films for every T-shirt launch is the unique way Onest Homme informs our customers of new products. For instance, we created a piece around the Philadelphia Eagles football team using Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares” song as their Superbowl hype music, and one could easily correlate the spirit of this film to the Onest Homme x Ice-T “Finger” t-shirt. Our shirts can be considered as a political statement, not just dope streetwear.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the feeling that LA is filled with endless opportunities – you just have to be willing to put yourself out there. On the other side of this though, it can be a bit easy for some to develop the “I want…” LA attitude rather than “What do I need to do to…”