Clothes and bag from designer St. John
Clothes and bag from designer St. John

Brand Spotlight: Everything to Know About St. John


There are some brands that — no matter how long they’ve been around — experience a renaissance of sorts. Whether they’ve stayed in niche circles over the last few decades or have quietly bubbled in the background for a hundred years, if modern-day tastes catch on, an inevitable resurgence takes place. 


That’s what seems to be happening with St. John. You may have noticed St. John trending in your feed or its collections in the wardrobes of your favorite content creators, and this is no coincidence. The company has had no shortage of successes in the 62 years since its creation, but it’s experiencing an uptick in popularity once more. 


The brand is synonymous with knitwear and matching sets, but its line sheet continues to grow. Cashmere camel coats, crepe jumpsuits, and leather jackets have all seamlessly blended into the mix. Most impressively, St. John has managed to stay true to its roots through the vicious trend cycles and peaks and troughs of the economy. 


What to Know About St. John

St. John may have been part of your mom’s or grandmother’s wardrobe or perhaps it’s just now showing up on your own wishlist for the first time. Whatever the case, here’s a bite-size history of the brand, its beginnings, and the most iconic items that should be in anyone’s closet.

The Background of St. John

Breaking onto the fashion scene in 1962, St. John was created by husband and wife Robert and Marie Gray. It wasn’t a shared dream or even an intention of running a brand together that ignited St. John. Marie had simply shared a knitted dress with Robert and his boss, which led to an influx of orders and a company that managed to skyrocket its sales to $1 million in 10 years. Since the ’60s and ’70s, St. John has remained true to its original aesthetic and look, although changes happened along the way.


In the ’80s and ’90s it was popping up in more stores and jumping on the radars of luxury shoppers. This was also when celebrities caught wind of the brand and began circling it into their own rotations. By the early 2000s, it had a massive employee base and was seeing a major boost in profit. Angelina Jolie even became one of its faces. It was no longer a small business started by an ambitious couple, but an iconic American label.


In the last several years, St. John has shifted ever so slightly again to update its collections and make its clothes appealing to a wider array of shoppers. With suits and formalwear slipping from workplaces, it would need to offer something slightly different, or at the very least an updated take on its high-quality but slightly nostalgic attire.


It brought on Zoe Turner — formerly at Max Mara and Dior — in 2019 to serve as creative director and Enrico Chiarparin — Moncler and Calvin Klein under his belt — as the executive vice president of design in 2022. Both creatives managed to maintain the look that’s emblematic of St. John while modernizing its apparel at the same time. 


St. John’s Most Iconic Looks and Pieces

While it’s been several decades since the brand’s inception, it’s clear that the iconic silhouettes and designs from the ’60s serve as inspiration for its releases nowadays. While you’ll find a varied selection of clothes and accessories (don’t sleep on its vintage-inspired silk scarves), there are three categories that the brand is best known for.


Knitted pieces are where St. John’s expertise lies and it’s what the brand is best known for. While it had its fair share of collections and evolutions, you can still pick out a St. John knit from a crowd. Its cardigans, knit jackets, and knitted tops are easy to style into outfits and have been worn by the likes of Hillary Clinton, Mindy Kaling, and Jenna Dewan. These days, knits from St. John fit neatly into the quiet luxury trend, whether you pick a button-up cardigan or a minimalist knit dress.

Shop St. John knitwear


Tailored Suits and Matching Sets

If they’re not in a knit, St. John women are wearing one of the matching sets from the brand. Tailoring is another key area of significance for St. John’s. From skirt pairings to full-length trousers and jackets, these sharply-cut coordinating sets are a hallmark of the brand. While most offices don’t require this style of dressing, they’re the perfect investment pieces for upscale events. The material also plays a large part in its suits being recognizable. Constructed with bouclé, twill, and tweed, they’re easy to spot.

Shop St. John suiting



With every St. John collection, you can expect to find pieces that are perfectly suitable in and out of the office. Its more formal dresses hit this brief, but the brand also isn’t afraid to release more trend-forward dresses, often in classic silhouettes with details that make them slightly unique. It could be a drapey halterneck with sleek hardware, a sleek (and currently very popular) crochet dress, or a bra-top gown. Zendaya, Chrissy Teigen, and Olivia Culpo have all worn one of the brand’s dresses. 

Shop St. John dresses


Even with its more formal approach to clothing, St. John has remained a brand that you can lean on for elevated classics, especially as its knits have propelled its popularity once more with this year’s trends.


Honoring heritage brands and extending the lifecycle of luxury items.