LOVE ocated in Santa Barbara’s most happening district, the “Funkzone,” is Jill Johnson’s latest clothing boutique, Loveworn. Jill opens the store by cranking up the garage door that has the word “LOVE” written in large red letters. “Love is everything, right?” Jill says. “I use that word so much and I mean it but I also question it because how do you describe the color of yellow or blue? It just is. I feel like I am a loving person and I feel loved. I love that I get to work in the store.”
business owner. “Everyone is craving authenticity these days after so much fast fashion,” Jill explains. So this “trend” of authenticity works perfectly for someone like Jill who exudes originality and genuiness.
Welcome to your new rock-n-roll-chic obsession where vintage t-shirts and Levis abound and trucker hats line the ceiling’s beams. There’s a sign on the wall that reads, “FREE BEER TOMORROW,” and an array of colorful iron-on patches of butterflies, flowers, and astrological signs on the shelves.
As Jill has gotten older, she has appreciated the Japanese “Wabi-Sabi” aesthetic that accepts and celebrates, roughness, imperfection, or age. “The Japanese have a lot more reverence for things that stand the test of time,” Jill says, “Whether it’s people or objects. We live in such a throwaway society.”
The most unhip person could walk into Loveworn and leave, even without having bought anything, and their hipness level would automatically increase. Of course, this has everything to do with Jill and her vision for her love child. Thanks to social media and Instagram, Jill recognized that beachy, road trip, 90s clothes were back and knew this concept would work for her taste and the Santa Barbara clientele. People are sick of cookie cutter fashion— just look at Forever21’s recent bankruptcy. People want to standout and be unique and they want to wear something special.
Jill shares the space with her business partner/ex-husband/ “friend soulmate,” Wallace Cleveland Piatt, or “Wally,” as Jill calls him. Wallace is an artist whose work, according to dininganddestinations.com is “an eccentric combination of several vastly different areas of artistic vision—blatantly bold colors, audacious pop art-like graphics and modern minimal settings, along with a generous side of social commentary.” Aside from the Gallery at Loveworn, his work can also be seen at the Elizabeth Gordon Gallery in Santa Barbara.
“Vintage doesn’t mean you don’t have enough money to buy new clothes anymore. It means you’re environmentally friendly and you’re different,” says Jill. She will tell you that in the fashion space, timing is everything and forecasting what’s next is one of the most important skills as a buyer and
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When thinking of a name for the store, she looked to her roots. In Jill’s family, the three generations of women (she, her mother, and grandmother) have all made clothes. They used to say to each other when giving gifts, “I made this for you with my loveworn hands.”
Wally was Jill’s first boyfriend and has known him for the majority of her life. The two of them owned and ran a store prior to Loveworn. On a shelf, next to a vintage Barbie doll wearing a full length yellow fur, there’s a framed photo of the two of them standing outside the store. They’re both decked out in denim.