In 2019, Juliet Johnstone ran out of canvases to paint on and decided to spruce up an old pair of Dickie’s carpenter pants from her closet. She adorned the legs with different colored flowers, a dove, and a red heart. While wearing them out during a shopping trip in Los Angeles, Johnstone was met with inquisitive stares and the question that sparked it all: “Where’d you get those pants?”

And just like that, Juliet Johnstone (the brand) was born. Taking notes from the environment, Johnstone accentuates the beauty of the natural world while drawing inspiration from psychedelic 1960s concert posters, vintage botanical books, The Beatles and more to create one-of-a-kind pieces customized by hand for her eponymous brand, which is part of Complex’s “Brands to Watch” activation at this year’s ComplexCon (Nov. 6-7). “I love putting a beautiful daisy, very feminine flowers, with like, a big old English swear word or something,” she says. “I think the juxtaposition of all these different elements is what makes it really fun and playful.”

Johnstone, a California native, has always been a painter. She moved to New York to study fine art at Parsons, and began working in the city’s art gallery circuit. After finishing school, it wasn’t long before she began missing the West Coast and moved back home to reconnect with her family and nature. There, she began painting on deadstock white carpenter pants sourced from eBay, Etsy, and vintage sellers around LA. Johnstone would look for the classics, everything from Stan Rays to Dickies and Carhartts, and would sell them on Instagram after friends (and strangers on the street) started asking where they could buy a pair.