Best Local Fashion Designer: Angela Johnson, Angela Johnson Designs

Any fashionably forward Phoenician loves some local threads in their closet and the Valley has plenty of desert based designers to choose from. Only one can be named the best though. The 2014 Best of Our Valley winner of Best Local Fashion Designer, Angela Johnson, says “”auf wiedersehen!” to the competition.

Mini dress relaxed


Winner: Angela Johnson, Angela Johnson Designs

Dana Constantino & Alyssa Wasko, DonniCharm

Shamini Shanmugam, Shamini

Shantidas Contu-Owen, Shantidas Designs

Julliana Garten, J.Garten

Sim Hankerson, SJ Couture

Angela Johnson is an award winning, eco-friendly clothing designer with nearly 20 years of experience in the fashion industry as a designer, production manager, instructor, consultant and industry insider.  She is best known for creating elaborately constructed ball gowns and other garments from “thrifted” and recycled T-shirts.  Angela’s clothing is sold online at

Angela got her start in L.A. working in design and production for X-Large Manufacturing, the line owned by Mike Diamond of the Beastie Boys and X-Girl, the line owned by Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth.  In the mid 1990’s she co-owned Monkeywench, a board sports inspired collection with actress Christie Clark. Today, she upcycles an award-winning collection of garments made from T-shirts and is the founder of LabelHorde: AZ’s Hautest Fashion Directory. Angela is also the Regional Director of Fashion Group International of Arizona for 2014-2015. 

I got my votes by…

Sharing my nomination on FB, Twitter and my own newsletter and annoying the crap out of my friends.

I am the best Local Fashion Designer because…

AZ Foothills said so!

I would like to thank…

Dennita Sewell from the Phoenix Art Museum and Lesley Oliver from the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Arts for both giving me my first big opportunities to exhibit my work in Arizona many years ago.

Winning the Best of Our Valley contest is important to me because…

It feels amazing to be recognized for hard work by a reputable source.

I am motivated by…


I pride myself on…

finding a creative way to be able to sustain a fashion design business for over 10 years outside of the fashion industry in a place where there are virtually no manufacturing resources.

Some of my other favorite businesses, people, places, etc. in the Valley are…

There are too many to list. I have a lot of friends in the local fashion industry and I cherish them all. The local fashion industry is a very supportive group. I specifically value my membership in our local chapter of Fashion Group International of Arizona.

My favorite thing about Arizona is…

I love the beauty of the desert. I also love how clean and new everything is. The congestion and traffic may seem frustrating to the natives, but I’ve lived in Los Angeles so I’ve got a totally different perspective. It’s so easy to drive and park and simply get around here.

I love our community because…

It’s a big city with a small town sensibility. There is always a lot to do.   There are amazing boutiques, restaurants and other innovative small businesses everywhere and there is an amazing art based community.

I am looking forward to the Best of Our Valley Bash because…

It’s an honor to be able to celebrate recognition like this.

Black ballgown






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