Rachel Johnson and her clients Amar’e Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Victor Cruz
You think getting dressed every morning is difficult? Try being six-foot-ten with a 37-inch inseam. Getting decked out could easily take a back seat to finding clothes that fit. Luckily, Rachel Johnson is six feet tall in bare feet, so she knows something about finding a fit. While working at Essence magazine out of college, she met uber-stylists June Ambrose and Sybil Pennix, and cut her teeth helping to dress their larger-than-life clients like Sean Combs and Missy Elliott. She soon moved out on her own, with a small roster including NBA player Jalen Rose. Quick to realize she was now representing an underserved market, she set out to capitalize on the idea. With a current roster that reads like a who’s-who of professional sports—Chris Bosh, Victor Cruz, LeBron James and Amar’e Stoudemire, to name a few—and her work appearing on the pages of GQ, Vanity Fair and Men’s Health, Rachel sat down to answer our Style Questionnaire.
Name: Rachel Johnson
Hometown and current residence: Englewood, NJ
Occupation: President, Thomas-Faison Agency; Lead Celebrity Style Strategist
1. Describe your style.
The style I create for my clients can be described as calculated, purposeful, personal and forever appropriate.
2. Are there any style combinations that you dislike?
What makes my skin crawl is a gentleman who looks like he tries to hard to be “different.” There are fellows like Lapo Elkann who live and breathe and dress uniquely yet effortlessly. There must be certain finesse to a man’s style. The other thing that unnerves me is a man who leaves home with his bowtie untied. Come home with it untied, yes, but leaving home with it untied suggests you had no clue how to tie it in the first place.
3. If you could reclaim one piece of clothing from your childhood, what would it be?
I had a yellow hoodie that had an iron-on playboy bunny on the front and a Gemini symbol in the back that I would wear daily if I still owned it or could fit it!
4. What’s one thing you always remember when dressing your clients?
They must own their look and therefore must be comfortable in it. When my gents stand in the mirror and starts posing, singing, dancing and talking sh*t, I know he’s ready to make moves.
5. Name a celebrity whose style you admire.
Any guy who can rocks a scruffy beard while wearing a tuxedo.
6. What are three pieces that every man should have in his closet?
A perfectly tailored black suit, a sleek all-white sneaker and a customized, unforgettable fragrance.
7. What is one thing every guy can do to improve his style?
One consistent tailor who alters all of your clothing. Then understand everything can be altered, whether its jeans, cargo pants, polo shirts or jean jackets. Anything is fair game!
8. What is one thing that is always worth splurging on?
A timepiece and a good woman!
9. What trend would you like to see disappear?
’70s porn mustaches.
10. When one of your clients wants to make a good impression, what do you put them in?
Definitely something tailored, in navy or black.