St. John was founded in 1962 by former model Marie St John and her husband Robert Gray. While working in Los Angeles as a model, St John hand knit simple straight knit skirts and matching short sleeved tops for her own use. Her designs proved popular among her fellow models and she began designing and producing samples. Her fiancé at the time, Robert Gray, showed the designs to local retailer Bullock’s who ordered 84 dresses. St John and Gray hired their mothers and another knitter and quickly set about production. The couple, now married, divided duties over the fledgling Irvine, CA business. St John designed the clothes and oversaw production while Gray handled the marketing and sales. Their collections included tailored suits and dresses as well as casual sportswear.