Johanna obtained a BA in Fashion in 1995 and Masters in Fashion in 1997 from Central Saint Martins in London. Her talent was apparent to the then fashion editor of London Times Iain R. Webb who cited her as one of the year’s top new talents and highlighted her graduation show.
In 1998, Johanna launched her own label JOHANNA HO during London Fashion Week where she sold her first collection to Barneys New York. Interest from markets such as Japan then beckoned. Subsequent collections were sold to over 30 retailers internationally including Browns, Selfridges and Harrods in London, Via Bus Stop, Isetan, Takashimaya, Tomorrowland, Beams in Japan, Myer in Australia and Lane Crawford, Liger, and Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong.
Between 2004-2009 the brand was licensed to Sanyo Shokai, Japan (who owned Burberry in Japan) where Johanna lived for the first year. 11 shops under the name JOHANNA HO were opened throughout Japan including a flagship in Omotesando, Tokyo.
In addition to her own brand, Johanna also collaborated and worked with various brands and companies such as Birkenstock, Vans, Khiels, Shiseido, MAC, Bulgari, Roger Dubuis, Miele, Moet & Chandon, Belvedere Vodka, Lane Crawford, On Pedder, Jardine Aviation and HSBC to name a few.
Conscious of the industry’s inherent demand for consumption, Johanna strives to help customers buy responsibly in adopting eco-friendly practices in materials and designs. In 2008, Johanna was invited to be a founding member of the “Sustainable Fashion Business Consortium”. The brand UCHI was consequently created to feature all crossovers of Johanna’s core knit designs with different entities–up-cycling used clothes donated by artists of all sorts and pop singers to create fresh and unique pieces, giving them new lives.
Known for Johanna’s cool yet elegant aesthetic, she also established an international celebrity following, with Gwyneth Paltrow being one of the first to buy her designs, and subsequently British actress Emilia Fox, Minnie Driver and latest, Oscar best actress nominee, Rosamund Pike as well as pop sensation Lana Del Rey are also fans of her designs. Johanna has also been involved in costume design and wardrobe styling for numerous top Asian artists including Karen Mok (Wong Kar Wai’s Fallen Angels), Eason Chan, Faye Wong (Wong Kar Wai’s Chungking Express), Miriam Yeung and Josie Ho. In 2010, Johanna was recognized by the industry to celebrate the achievement of being one of the 40 outstanding design professionals under the age of 40 (the “40 Under 40” award). She also appeared as a judge on the Fashion World Talent Awards (China/ Hong Kong’s version of Project Runway) the same year. Her talent ultimately persevered and led to the invitation to participate in the ANDAM Fashion Award Paris 2015.
Johanna’s fashion concept of simple, classic yet stylish with detailed craftsmanship, not only derives from her belief in the importance of the silhouette, but also from the subtle integration and balance of cross cultural influences. She owes her love of knitwear to her MA tutor at Saint Martins, the late Louise Wilson, who saw the talent in Johanna and encouraged her to follow her natural eye for interesting lines and soft feminine shapes, with a subtle insert of almost avant-garde and sculptural details. The results are contemporary classics with a twist.
Johanna’s designs are based on her philosophy: the most cherished items of clothing should be versatile and can be dressed up or down according to the occasion. Through clothing, which is unique and different, a woman can express her own individuality and personality.
In January 2014, JOHANNA HO Hong Kong flagship store was opened on Wyndham Street, Central, neighbouring international labels such as Christian Louboutin, A.P.C and SACAI.
Johanna now mainly divides her time between London and Hong Kong. She presently shows her collections during fashion weeks in Paris.