How Scott Johnston Went From Top Pro to Top Shoe Designer

From his skateboarding to his clothing, Scott Johnston has always been known for being flawless. His nickname is Mr. Clean for a good reason. When you take a step back and look at S.J.’s career on a whole, the same can be said.

Scott’s original stomping grounds are sacred in skateboarding. A Maryland native, he grew up as a local at Washington D.C.’s Pulaski in the era when Sean Sheffey was the OG, and Pepe Martinez and Andy Stone were just cutting their teeth. Scott rose to prominence alongside these East Coast legends, and eventually took a chance on heading west to San Francisco.

In S.F., S.J. got down with the infamous EMB Crew despite being a self described suburbanite. That’s impressive in and of itself considering this was during the time when people would get chased out by the locals for practically nothing. The connections that Scott made in San Francisco would shape the rest of his career in terms of sponsors and locations.

S.J.’s skate resume is thorough. After turning pro for Think in the ‘90s, he rode for Mad Circle, DC Shoes, Chocolate, Stussy, and Lakai during the times when each of these brands were at their peak. And from San Francisco, he would sample New York for a stint before landing in L.A. where he would finish out his time as a professional alongside many of his S.F. era peers before transitioning into his next phase in life.

When it was time to retire his board, Scott took on a new challenge of learning how to design shoes. He mastered the fundamentals at Lakai, where he served as Design Director for about five years before making the jump to adidas where he’s currently the Design Director for its skate program.

Lee Smith gets up close and personal with his Embarco compatriot in Episode 13 of Mission Statement to find out how Mr. Clean perfectly navigated his way from top pro to top designer.