Johnson takes her craft seriously—she’s a perfectionist who for years tested each garment personally—but when it comes to her personal look, she has a sense of humor. “Do I wear gold lamé dresses everyday? No. I wish I did!” she says with a laugh. “I design things that I love. Not every piece is for me personally, but we now have this ability to make the kind of clothes that we dream about.” An avid traveler, Johnson draws inspiration from a global range of influences: the bustling energy of her New York City home, textiles discovered on one of her many trips to Peru, or her favorite galleries in Paris. “I’m not one to have a uniform,” she says. “Some days I’m quite stern and I wear huge nerdy glasses and trousers. Other days, I love feminine, ruffly things, and sandals and baskets.”

Johnson’s look reflects the realities of the busy life of an entrepreneur and mother. The challenges of helming a brand, raising her three children (Soren, Asher, and Agnes) with husband Zach Miner, and designing four collections a year have made her conscious of practicality—without ever losing her joie de vivre. “That’s what is so fun about fashion: You have the ability to kind of reinvent yourself every day,”