Just in time for the holidays, Darien Sport Shop has opened a Johnnie-O shop at its Connecticut specialty store, the first in-store outpost for the West Coast preppy label.

“We started carrying the line in fall of 2009,” said Gina Zangrillo, president of Darien Sport Shop. “At the time it only consisted of a jersey four-button polo shirt in an array of colors. We thought they had a fresh approach to a category of business that was familiar to our consumer and would be a nice new alternative for the customer. Since that time, Johnnie-O has evolved into one of the top resources in our men’s and boys’ areas, expanding to a full collection.”

John O’Donnell, owner of Johnnie-O, said, “I wish I could say we chose them, but in fact, they chose us — kind of like the prettiest girl at the party asking you to dance.”

The shop started out at 350 square feet and has expanded beyond that. It employs a modular approach that O’Donnell said would “allow us to add more square footage as sales continue in the right direction.”

He said having an in-store shop allows the label to “differentiate our brand from others. More Southern California and West Coast prep differentiation will continue to drive this initiative.”

O’Donnell will host a trunk show at the store on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with cocktails and gifts with purchase.

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