Los Angeles designer has passion that extends well beyond fashion
Johana Hernandez has been surrounded by fashion her whole life. Growing up, her parents worked in sewing factories in Los Angeles, which enabled Johana to learn all about garment design and the production of high-end clothing firsthand. In the beginning, making her own clothes was simply a hobby that Johana and her mother enjoyed doing together in their spare time, but soon it became a passion and her path to entrepreneurship.
Johana started her career in fashion as soon as she could. By the age of 19, she was already working as the head designer at two different denim companies and was featured in the Wall Street Journal. After a 10-year career designing for large companies, Johana decided to launch her very own brand named for her mother, Glaudi.
However, this designer’s passions extend well beyond fashion: Johana is working to support Latino communities near and far through philanthropic efforts. She hosts bible studies for local kids through Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and has used part of her profits from GLAUDI by Johana Hernandez to build a school and donate supplies in her parents’ home country of El Salvador.
While Johana loves encouraging young people to succeed through her philanthropic efforts, it’s also important to her to promote more Latina representation within the fashion industry.
She explains, “I find that the perceived role of Latinos in the fashion industry is often dehumanizing. We are seen as worker bees putting in maximal hours for minimal wages, but we are not machines.”
Johana’s personal brand has grown as she has. Five years after her brand launch, Johana’s friends started getting married and she found a whole new market to tap into. Since then, she had almost completely pivoted to bridal wear, and with the opening of a new storefront in Beverly Hills in December 2019, everything was on the up and up.
However, the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic hit the bridal industry hard. With 80% of her business in the industry, postponed and sized down weddings meant less work and less income. Johana started making masks, graphic tees and sweatshirts to make up for the lost income, and even launched a men’s line, which has been widely supported. The Beverly Hills Courier even named her “A fashion Phenom in Beverly Hills.”
Johana says, “The last year has been exhausting. But we are adapting. We are so grateful to have loyal customers who have stuck by us.”
Despite everything, the designer continues to work hard and give back to her community. Johana has been able to donate thousands of masks to frontline workers, LAPD and local prisons.
Although this year has been tumultuous and grief-ridden, Johana knows her business will bounce back. She says, “Love is essential. There will always be a means to celebrate it.”