Gig: Founder and managing director, Orbital Socket.
One key: His work wardrobe says, “I’m somewhat serious but maybe fun to be around.” Johnson calls himself “colorfully classic with a splash of trendiness.”
Overview: A brand/advertising honcho with more than 20 years’ experience at Charlotte’s Boone Oakley and New York’s J. Walter Thompson and Saatchi & Saatchi. Former marketing director at Nike. Husband (to Carole, who works with him) and father of four. Serves on the board of the University YMCA. Proud UNC Tar Heel.
Style strategy: “Style is definitely more important than comfort.”
▪ “First impressions matter. I believe people make decisions about who you are pretty early on after they meet you. You either validate those impressions or not as relationships develop, but … some things will stick around based on those first impressions.”
▪ Appearance matters in Johnson’s field. “It’s marketing and advertising, so much of it is about look and feel and overall impression. I believe people look at marketing executives and say: ‘If they don’t look the part, I probably won’t do business with them.’ Not that that’s the only thing that matters, but I believe it factors in, for sure.”
Style evolution: “With age and four children, it has become more classic. Translation: Buy stuff that will look good for a while because super-trendy is transient.”
Go-to look: “I have a really cool cream-colored and slightly lemon Faconnable jacket with some hints of Carolina blue.”
Ever had a wardrobe malfunction? “I’ve certainly had wardrobes that looked great when I left the house but when I got to where I was going I thought: ‘Who the heck dressed me today?’ ”
Advice: “Look the part. Look like the person you want people to receive you as. If you want to be at C-level executive, dress the part.”
Where he shops: Online men’s specialty shops online, Bonobos, Jack Thread, Gilt. “I like Belk’s, Banana Republic and all things Ralph Lauren.”
How does your work look differ from how you dress away from the office? (Or does it?) “I used to … always dress pretty nice when I was hanging out at home or at work. But now I find myself being a lot more casual and almost ‘bummy’ when I’m at home and, say, taking a trip to the mall. I think that has come with age and having four kids and responsibilities to think too much about some of these things.”