SHE GOT GAME: Sitting beside Anna Wintour last fall at the Tommy Hilfiger show, NBA star Amar’e Stoudemire wowed the glitterati with his preppy-hipster striped rep tie, white varsity sweater, tan khakis, and Converse low-tops. His look that day came courtesy of Rachel Johnson who’s become the go-to stylist for athletes—including LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Chris Bosh—looking to step up their fashion game. “I want to see my guys listed as best dressed, not only within sports but around the world,” says the statuesque Jersey girl.
TEEN VOGUE: In high school, Johnson was voted best dressed—a nod she attributes to her mother, a retail exec whose closets she’d regularly raid. “I once wore this black catsuit with cowboy ankle boots, my mom’s red vintage swing coat with a mandarin collar and three-quarter sleeves, and a velvet broad-brimmed hat. I liked to challenge myself.”
GIRL FRIDAY: After college at Florida A&M, she did a stint at Essence, which led to assisting top stylists like June Ambrose and Sybil Pennix, whose clients included Diddy, Missy Elliot, and the Notorious B.I.G. Ja Rule was one of Johnson’s first solo projects. “He balked when I first dressed him, but he hired me back,” she says. She put him in Burberry plaid for his “Always on Time” video, igniting a worldwide trend.
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