A Louisville fashion fanatic and trendsetter is quickly becoming a household name in the world of Louisville lifestyle and around the country.
Josh Johnson, 23, blogs at The Kentucky Gent with the tagline “where Southern charm meets big city style.” The Kentucky Gent covers local products (like primary cosmetics, or OddRedHead Skin Care), men and women’s fashion, and other lifestyle topics.
“I wanted to showcase that Louisville isn’t a bunch of country bumpkins only wearing plaid shirts,” Johnson said. “I wanted to show that Louisville is thriving.”
The men’s clothing and shoe buyer for Street Moda, a local fashion retailer, began his fashion journey working for Forever 21 as the visual manager in Louisville. Growing up in a small town in Southern Indiana, Johnson said working at Forever 21 started as a culture shock, but was happy to connect with other eclectic and fashion-forward people.
“I got into fashion because I like the trends, and how fast-paced it is,” Johnson said. “It [working at Forever 21] was a great rung on my ladder, and a great stepping stone.”
After four years working at Forever 21, Johnson said he left out of the blue without any job prospects. He added that he saw an opening at Street Moda so he applied and was hired.
With his time in retail as a sales associate, visual manager and buyer, Johnson said he developed a strong opinion and taste for fashion on all spectrums. He added that a friend mentioned that he should start a blog, and The Kentucky Gent was born.
“I saw a niche in it because a lot of bloggers in men’s fashion are more tailored and dapper,” Johnson said emphasizing his more trendy and edgy audience. “A lot of the well-known bloggers are known for wearing suits and ties.”
The concept behind the blog is “something to set me apart.”
On his blog, Johnson writes, “The Kentucky Gent is life and style as seen through the eyes of a gentleman who grew up in the South, but always had his eyes set on the bigger picture.”
Johnson is building up a local and national following. “I average about 100 views a day,” he said. “Every month I average a couple thousand views. Whenever I post more often I get more views.” Several brands featured in Milan’s fashion week reached out to him to write about them. He also says that he is featured in Details Magazine, GQ and was invited to their show during New York’s Fashion Week.
He added that a big push is when friends share his blog on social media, giving it double exposure (@TheKenGent).
Johnson looks up to fashion icons like Rachael Zoe and Diane Von Furstenburg. “They’re both strong independent women who didn’t come from much and have everything now,” he said. “It’s very empowering and awesome.”
He added that these icons have taught him that as long as “you have passion and want to succeed, you can forge your own path.”
In addition to writing about Louisville fashion, Johnson plans on becoming more physically involved in Louisville.
“I’m really hoping Derby season will be a big turning point in the blog for me,” he said. “I want more exposure in Louisville connection with restaurants, boutiques, bars and hosting events with them.”
Johnson added that he wants to help put Louisville on the map.
“We all connect on the aspect of ‘we all love the city,’” he said. “Everyone in this city can relate and is proud of where we come from.”
There is so much that Louisville has to offer, Johnson said.
“We can make it so much bigger than it is,” he said. “The city has a great vision that I’m very grateful and thankful for.”