ROBERT JOHNSON

26, public-relations business partner, Neiman, Philadelphia

Interview by Arianne Cohen

TOPMAN | PRONTO UOMO | H&M | EXPRESS | ROCKPORT

PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRISTOPHER LEAMAN FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

What’s your look?

Colorful. I grew up in Brooklyn, where most people with actual careers dress in browns and blacks and navies, and that’s not me. If I can figure out how to dress in a way that’s still me, why not?

You have a lot of energy. Do you work out?

I’m a terrible runner. Everyone in the office runs marathons, and I don’t get it. They’re like, “Robert, why don’t you run with us?” And I’m like, “That sounds like a ridiculous proposition.” I’d much rather lift weights.

Is facial hair OK at work?

If it’s neat, that’s all you have to worry about. At Neiman, people have full beards down to their chests. To each his own.

What else do you do during the day?

My job is to make news for my clients and then convince journalists that it’s relevant.

How do you do that?

One of my clients is Monistat, so the team brainstorms how to make Monistat something that people want to talk about. We’ll flesh out ideas and pitch the client—they usually hate it. Then we get to a happy medium, write the pitch, and call journalists.

Is that a goatee?

Kind of. I shaved it off a few weeks ago and looked like I was 17. I was like, “No, Robert, your face needs to mature a bit before you can rock that look.”

Where do you get your clothes?

It’s pretty mixed. H&M and Urban Outfitters, Zara, Topman. I’m most particular about my blazers. I have a rainbow of different-colored blazers.

Do your co-workers dress similarly?

No. We’re an ad agency. They dress in T-shirts or polos, jeans, and sneakers. For the first week, everyone thought I was an intern because I was overdressed. I was like, “No, sorry, that’s just Robert.”


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