Saturday, March 23, 2013

Rachel Johnson: Stylist to NBA Stars

It was during the 2005-06 NBA season, when commissioner David Stern implemented a mandatory dress code for all players in the NBA and D-league. This meant that players had to be dressed in business casual attire when arriving and departing games, while on the bench injured or anything affiliated with the NBA. For players, this was just another thing to worry about in addition to their performance on the court. To minimize the stress on choosing appropriate attire, players hire stylist. One of the top stylists in the NBA is style maven, Rachel Johnson.

While an English major at Florida A&M University, she realized her passion for fashion and decided to make it a career. Rachel Johnson got her start stylizing top artist in the music industry, such as JaRule, Jamie Foxx and Pharrell Williams. After much success with her clients in the music world, she realized that she could make a huge impact. She then decided to expand her roster of clients and stepped into the NBA world. Her first client was Jalen Rose.While styling Jalen Rose, she noticed that there is value for brands when NBA players are dressed in their products. Not only do NBA clients get a lot of press, they frequently need help, due to their large stature. After continuing to make a name for herself, she began styling NBA superstar and champion, Lebron James. One of her notable accomplishments with Lebron, was styling him for the April 2008 cover of Vogue magazine alongside supermodel Gisele Bundchen. Though the cover received a lot of negative controversy, as critics compared the photo to a "gorilla like" stereotype, Rachel Johnson did not allow the negativity to deter her career goals and moved forward. Her clientele continues to grow, as she now styles for more NBA stars, Amare Stoudemire and Chris Paul

When dressing her superstar clients, she is influenced by a combination of classic Hollywood style and street style. I am sure her empire will continue to grow, as fashion and sports are increasingly intertwined to cultivate a particular image of celebrity and success. 


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