It was no surprise to us that our August issue profile of EJ Johnson sparked some heated exchanges online. The 22-year-old, whose shoe collection is probably worth more than most people’s annual salaries, is for many the embodiment of the idle, vapid rich. But that’s a characterization that EJ’s working to dispel.
In an interview with the New York Post, Johnson — dubbed “aspiring talk-show host and fashion designer” — says that though he is rich, he certainly is not idle.
“If we really weren’t being productive, if we were really just doing nothing but sitting around and spending lots of money with no motivation, the show could be damaging to young people,” he tells writer Dana Schuster.
“But that’s not the case. We have all this privilege, but, you know, we’re trying to move past that and pave our way and make our own history and become our own moguls and own businesspeople.”
Johnson, who studies hospitality and event planning at NYU, says that he’s larger-than-life figure, he’s not playing it up for the cameras. “I’m not just on the show to be obnoxious. This is a launchpad for me.”