Joanna Dai couldn’t have known her audience any better when she launched Dai, a performance wear apparel brand for professional working
women back in July 2017. That’s because she was her audience. Based in London, Joanna was raised in Orange County, Southern California
and worked as an investment banker for nearly a decade at J.P. Morgan in New York and London.
“Eight years into my investment banking career, I had my fair share of long days,” explains Joanna. “On that particular day, I had my 4am cab
pickup, the first flight out of London, a day of meetings around Stockholm, and the last flight back at 8pm. When I finally sat down on my return flight,
my waistband was digging in, nothing stretched, and I was uncomfortable. I wished I were in my yoga kit. Then, my a-ha moment. I thought to myself,
‘could this feel like yoga and still look like a power suit?’” Building on her lightbulb moment, Joanna dug deeper into the womens workwear market.
Feeling underwhelmed and frustrated with the designs, performance, versatility, and sustainability offerings in this space, Joanna realised there was a gap in the market and decided to fill it. After courses in womenswear design and pattern-making at London College of Fashion and an internship
with Emilia Wickstead, Joanna launched Dai with a core collection of suiting, shirting, and dresses, crafted from performance 4-way stretch and
wrinkle resistant fabrics, all sourced from Italy and made in the EU. The collection was an instant hit, selling out within 48 hours.
Since launching in 2017, Dai has achieved Certified B Corporation status and had stores in London’s Marylebone, Chelsea, Spitalfields,
NYC’s SoHo, and is planning to open its first permanent store in London in 2022 with in-store experiences including their personal DAI DNATM
Body Mapping styling service, the Trouser Bar and Top It Up Counter, and a host of female empowerment community-focused events.
As the business grows, Joanna is committed to using the most sustainable and innovative fabrics including Global Recycle Standard
(GRS) performance fabrics made from materials that would otherwise go to waste, circular cashmere, performance denim made with
reused cotton, and non-mulesed merino wool from New Zealand. Joanna continues to rigorously trial each and every piece to
ensure Dai provides women with clothes that enable 24/7 comfort- empowered performance not only in the boardroom but on the move,
everyday and everywhere.