IT TOOK more than a month of painstaking hand work for Johanna Johnson to create the gown Christina Hendricks wore on the red carpet at the Emmy Awards . But it was mere minutes before images of the Mad Men star in the Sydney designer's dress flashed around the world, sparking a jump in her online sales and massive press coverage for the relatively unknown fashion and bridal brand.
''The red carpet is incredibly powerful,'' Johnson said , speaking at her Paddington store.
''It was literally within minutes of [Hendricks] walking on the red carpet that we recorded our first sale, and I would say by the end of the day we would have doubled on the previous day's sales, and that's probably being conservative.''
The vintage-style heavy silk satin gown embellished with Swarovski crystals garnered a top spot on People magazine's online Emmys best dressed list and coverage on other websites including Harper's Bazaar and London's The Daily Mail.On the red carpet Hendricks described the dress as ''extraordinary … the designer is Johanna Johnson,'' before adding: ''I thought it was so beautiful, it was the only one I tried on.''
The actress first discovered Johnson, through a stylist, when she borrowed a beaded cape by the designer to wear to a New York premiere in February.
''She loved it so much that she asked after if I minded if she kept it and I said 'of course not,' and then later in a magazine she listed it as her number one favourite thing above the earrings her husband bought her for their wedding,'' Johnson said.
It was with this support in mind that Johnson decided to take a punt and began working on a gown to present Hendricks as a potential for her to wear to the Emmys .
''We just made this custom piece for her to her measurements and I sent it to her as a gift and said 'I've made it specifically for you','' Johnson said.
She found out a fortnight ago that Hendricks was definitely wearing the gown on the red carpet, and with this in mind rebuilt her online store to capitalise on the exposure.
''We just opened the new online store over the weekend, and already this morning there has been a sales increase,'' Johnson said.
Exact sales figures were unavailable yesterday as they are not generated automatically until the morning following each day's sales, but Johnson said her estimates to were based on automated alerts she received whenever a purchase had been made from her online store.
''The response has been quite overwhelming, it made me a bit teary this morning,'' she said.
The designer has focused on red carpet coverage and online sales as drivers for her business. She dressed Emmy Rossum for the Los Angeles Opera's season opening gala on Saturday, and has also dressed guests at the Academy Awards, Screen Actors Guild and British Academy of Film and Television Awards.