Kelly and Marie Gray
Marie Gray founded St. John with her husband, and passed the torch to their daughter, Kelly, when they were ready to leave office life behind for the golf course. Kelly grew up in the company, holding various positions from receptionist to CEO. But Marie couldn’t leave the industry behind. “I’d visit Kelly at the office and say, ‘Oh no! Don’t do it this way. Let’s do it that way,'” Marie recalls with a laugh. “We still had a lot of fuel between us,” Kelly says. The Gray family retired from St. John when the company was trending toward half a billion. But the mother-daughter duo wanted a new project, and Grayse was born.
Kelly: Great style, quality, and exceptional customer service. Those are the cornerstones for our business.
Marie: My hope is that we design classic, seasonless styles in fabrics that will take a woman worldwide in great comfort.
Marie: I wear jeans a great deal and I love jackets, but the jacket has to have some type of great cut or embellishment on it that makes it unique.
Kelly: I wear a lot of lace. I like edgy, modern silhouettes. Edgy and sexy, to me, are both critical to my look.
Kelly: Dare I say what you treated me to on my birthday? A JetSmarter pass. It’s a pass where you pay a yearly fee and you have access to private planes. There’s a little app and you can jump on flights from L.A. to New York, L.A. to Miami, L.A. to Vegas, every week. That was a big indulgence, indulged to me by my dearest mom.
Marie: I’m going to say a new driver for my golf bag.
FAVORITE ITEM IN STORE:
Marie: Our leathers are hand-cut in the form of different patterns, then sewn onto tulle. It breathes and you can wear it in any climate. Literally, 105-degree weather is no problem.
Kelly: It’s basically like art. It’s exquisite and it molds and shapes and sculpts to the body. My favorite piece is the Met Gala gown in red resin paillette. It’s just a column sheath dress that has a liquid sparkle to it.
EL PASEO HANGOUTS:
Kelly: I’m a big fan of Wally’s (near El Paseo). When you walk in, you can almost feel the legends of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. It’s almost as if time has been suspended.
Marie: il Corso. It’s a lot of fun and their food is great. I like noise and excitement. The other place I like to hang out is actually in our store.
73-130 El Paseo, Palm Desert