Chris Knott

Chief Merchandising Officer, johnnie-O

Chris Knott

In 2001, Chris started his career as a clothing rep for Burberry, a London based fashion company, selling tailored clothing. During this time, Chris saw a need to create something of his own, and ultimately created a cashmere sweater company known as Peter Millar. The name, Peter Millar, came off a personalized custom lawn ball that his mother gave him (see picture). He named the company, Peter Millar, because it sounded European and the Scottish invented how to sort cashmere yarn, so he thought it would be authentic.

In the beginning, Chris went out selling cashmere sweaters, started hiring sales reps, made knit golf shirts and woven button downs, and brought in some partners to help him grow Peter Millar to what it is today. In 2012, they sold Peter Millar to Richemont, a Switzerland based luxury goods company who now owns 100% of the company. The business continued to flourish, and Chris stayed on with his partners until 2015, where he decided to step away and watch it grow. In 2017, Chris was hired on with johnnie-O as the Chief Merchandise Officer, where he focuses on merchandising and sales. In 2017, the company was around $10 million in sales and as of today, their 25-person team out of Raleigh, NC is approaching $200 million.

Johnnie-O currently works with 1,700 golf accounts, 500 men’s specialty stores across the country, NCAA bookstores, Major League Baseball, and soon breaking into the National Hockey League. Johnnie-O is also planning to move their office into The Grove, which is a workplace environment with luxurious amenities to help boost creativity, productivity, inspire workplace collaboration, improve employee retention, and build a healthier work force.

Chris was initiated into the Gamma Rho chapter at East Carolina University and remains an active alumnus. Gamma Rho alumni have come together to raise $185,000 for their housing renovations of $250,000. His daughter, Emory, was the chapter’s Rose, and continues to date a KA. “My success in clothing has allowed me to go get involved and help the KA house by fundraising and helping the construction project. Max Ray Joiner has inspired me to do it and he always has been, and still is, the backbone of the chapter. He is an unbelievable asset to the chapter…I really care about KA. It’s where I met all my best friends in life.”

His wife, Amy, and their daughter have started a jewelry design company called Knotty Bling and Emory also works for Monkee’s as a fashion buyer. The family is all in on the fashion business.