Prep Apparel Brand Johnnie-O Lands $108M Investment

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Prep Apparel Brand Johnnie-O Lands $108M Investment
Courtesy of johnnie-O

Santa Monica-based men's apparel brand Johnnie-O—which markets casual West Coast-style apparel, right down to its surfer logo—has brought on its first institutional investors to help propel its growth.

Earlier this week, the brand announced it had secured a $108 million investment from Los Angeles-based Ares Management as well as Wasatch Global Investors, giving the private equity firms a minority stake in the company.

"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 Gatto, CEO of Johnnie-O, said in a press release.

John O'Donnell, the brother of Hollywood actor Chris O’Donnell, first launched the company in 2005. Johnnie-O started off selling preppy polo shirts but has since branched off into a whole range of casual men's apparel, drawing fans like former NFL quarterback Drew Brees and "Entourage" actor Adrian Grenier.

“You’ve seen these other brands that have had a meteoric growth because X, Y, Z celebrity wore it. But down to the actual product line, it wasn’t all that great and it crashed just as fast as it rose,” John O'Donnell told the Hollywood Reporter in 2015. “The celebrity has been a bonus for us. Of course, I lean on my brother Chris, but I never lean on him too much because I don’t want it to be too contrived.”

Johnnie-O said its sales increased more than 80% in 2021. Last year, the brand opened up its first U.S. brick-and-mortar retail store in Forth Worth, Texas, and has since expanded to three more locations in Newport, R.I., Scottsdale, Ariz., and Miramar Beach, Fla.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


Plus Capital Partner Amanda Groves on Celebrity Equity Investments

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
PLUS Capital​’s Amanda Groves.
Courtesy of Amanda Groves.

On this episode of the L.A. Venture podcast, Amanda Groves talks about how PLUS Capital advises celebrity investors and why more high-profile individuals are choosing to invest instead of endorse.

As a partner at PLUS, Groves works with over 70 artists and athletes, helping to guide their investment strategies. PLUS advises their talent roster to combine their financial capital with their social capital and focus on five investment areas: the future of work, future of education, health and wellness, the conscious consumer and sustainability.

Read more Show less

Rivian Stock Roller Coaster Continues as Amazon Van Delivery Faces Delays

David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

Rivian Stock Roller Coaster Continues as Amazon Van Delivery Faces Delays
Courtesy of Rivian.

Rivian’s stock lost 7% yesterday on the back of news that the company could face delays in fulfilling Amazon’s order for a fleet of electric delivery vans due to legal issues with a supplier. The electric vehicle maker is suing Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG) over a pricing dispute related to the seats that the supplier promised, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Read more Show less