BE Modern Man Spotlights - Passion to Purpose: Johnnie Lovett
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

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Name: Johnnie R. Lovett (Johnnie Fresh)

Profession: Strategist at Commonground/MGS / CEO at The Fresh Connection Brand Group, LLC.

Age: 27

I have put my passion to purpose by: continuing to change the landscape of Multicultural’s who have a voice within today’s fast paced, media driven world.

For Johnnie Lovett, a kid growing up on the south side of Chicago, sneakers and fashion were everything that soon became a love that sticks with him to this day. This passion would lead to the development of Fresh Connection Brand, a one-of-a-kind apparel company merging keen urban sensibilities with mass market appeal to reach today’s urban Millennial.

Connecting with people, getting to know them, and understanding what drives them is what inspires Lovett to create for them. “For me, being fresh meant to “forever revolutionize expression, style, and hustle,” and as an over zealous 20-something hoping to launch a successful company it sounded really cool, but over time it became my approach to all things”. FCB gave Lovett an opportunity to express his passion, and forwarded him an opportunity to work with people in a professional manner that not to many junior level employee would be able to experience. “I was orchestrating deals with my business partners to land our first t-shirt collaboration with Dwyane Wade, and that t-shirt became the celebratory tee of the 2012 NBA Championship,” Lovett tells BE Modern Man. “That night #TeamNoSleep was born.” Designing t-shirts for fun became collaborating with NBA Superstars, and then giving a voice to youth globally through collaborations with NFTE Chicago and Microsoft #Youthspark.

Before collaborating with NBA Superstars and Microsoft, Lovett new advertising and marketing was the arena he would play in when he first stepped into an ad agency. “The environment, culture, and energy was very different form anything I’d experienced,” Lovett tells BE Modern Man. “There weren’t many suits and ties with the exception of few, but everyone sat at the table together. I had no idea my Fresh Connection Brand tee, Kenzo motocross pants and Y3 sneakers were essentially my uniform. My style and personality added to a mix of eccentric and highly intelligent people who were challenged to do great work, but demanded to simply be themselves.”

The most important step of Lovett’s young career came when he was excepted into the Marcus Graham Project iCr8 as an Account Planning intern in 2011. Beyond the growth and experience that MGP provided he became passionate about the landscape of Black and Hispanic men, and women in the advertising and marketing industry. “I’m proud to be one of many pushing to change the face of this industry,” says Lovett. “Advertising, fashion, and entrepreneurship became the pillars of my professional future, so I invested in each equally to help me grow across the board. My experiences as an entrepreneur helped to groom me for the future I’m now embarking on as I turn my passion into purpose.”

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