Ever wonder how the fashion-obsessed spend their days and very often their nights? Meet a native Charlottean with a thirst for style, poised and ready to break the mold on NoDa's fashion community. Kamesha LaVonndra Johnson is the founder and owner of Elle VJ Boutique (136 E. 36th St., Studio 2). Exclusive to two London footwear brands, Irregular Choice (a favorite of Whoopi Goldberg) and Poetic License, the shop has some of the most unique shoe designs in Charlotte. It also carries handcrafted jewelry and accessories by local designer Daquita White and an assortment of beautiful cocktail dresses. Johnson says that she believes her clothing and shoes bring out the "true demeanor of being a lady."
In addition to running the day-to-day styling operations of her own shop, Johnson has her hands full juggling a number of upcoming fashion events. On Sept. 8, she hosts Fashion's Night Out NoDa with other neighborhood boutiques. During the Southern Women's Show (Sept. 15-18), Elle VJ will showcase looks during the daily fashion show. Through her affiliation with the publication Cinhte Magazine, she'll participate in Charlotte Seen Fashion Week, Sept. 19-24. And that's just next month.
Despite leading what we think might be a manic life, Johnson says, "I'm actually very quiet and reserved. My career just forces me to be social."
Creative Loafing: What is your philosophy on the fashion industry?
Kamesha LaVonndra Johnson: You must stay active in order to be relevant, thus the reasoning for me always being involved in something fashion-related. I feel that the people need and want to see you so that they can establish a connection with you and your brand. As a small business, I believe that people want to do business with people they can identify with, so I'm very hands-on with my approach.
What is your take on fashion in Charlotte specifically?
I believe that the Charlotte fashion community has grown significantly in the past few years; however, we still have some growing to do. We're blessed to now see an outpouring of emerging designers, and hopefully we will soon gain national exposure and be the home of several fashion brands. Hopefully Elle VJ will be one of those brands.
Who's your favorite designer?
I love this question! My favorite designer is, absolutely, Isaac Mizrahi. I am such a fan, from his pattern selection, to color palette, and even his personal style. He truly embodies fashion, and I identify with his fashion sense on so many levels. His women's collection is absolutely gorgeous and would definitely be my choice of attire when "stepping out." But I also identify with his personal style. I am such a fan of a fitted color polo shirt and a nice pair of jeans.