By Katrina Lee-Jones
We know Cookie Johnson, because of her famous husband retired Hall of Famer, NBA player Magic Johnson, right? Well, she has created a premium denim line for curvy women with Michael Glasser, the creator of Seven for all Mankind, Citizens of Humanity and Rich & Skinny denim lines. CJ by Cookie Johnson has taken the denim market by storm, because her denim is filling the void for women that have curves and want to wear fashionable denim.
A businesswoman at heart, Johnson came out of “retirement” — from being a busy, full-time mom — to pursue this endeavor. Cookie Johnson, says, “It is my hope that designers will develop an awareness and appreciation of the true female form — and design for all women: the 17-year-old athlete, the 33-year-old mother of two, the 46-year-old curvaceous business woman and the 61-year-old active grandmother whose figure just isn’t what it used to be. These women are stylish!” “But if they have curves, their only options have been in mass market lines. The situation needs to be remedied.” Enter CJ by Cookie Johnson: the latest rocket launched by a little girl from Huntsville.
RYSE sat down to talk with Cookie Johnson about the inspiration behind CJ by Cookie Johnson.
RYSE Magazine: Why did you decide to create your own denim line?
Cookie Johnson: “I wanted to let women know that no matter their shape, they can look good and enjoy premium denim,” she says. The ‘women’ she refers to are women who have typically avoided jeans because their curves didn’t fit well into the trendy, high-end denim, cut for waifish figures. I couldn’t find jeans to fit my body. It frustrated me to try on every pair of jeans in the store and leave with nothing.” She realized that her testimony was that of many women. “I knew there was a hole in the market, it couldn’t just be me. Designers were excluding this demographic.”
CJ: Whether you’re a size two or have curves to die for, CJ by Cookie Johnson provides a fit that flatters and forgives. At CJ we take more risks than other lines in our category by offering contemporary styles that showcase trend-driven colors and flaunt-worthy finishes. Our collection is as playful and unique as the women who wear it.
RM: How was your recent visit to Orlando, Neiman Marcus?
CJ: It was wonderful, I love getting to see the reaction of our customers after they try on CJ, and it renews their confidence and their self-esteem.
RM: What is the most popular style?
CJ: Currently, our Joy legging and our Faith straight leg denim are top sellers, and of course bright colors and prints are must - have’s for your wardrobe this season.
RM: What did it do for your business when Oprah fell in Love with your boyfriend style?
CJ: It was such an honor to be spotlighted by Oprah, she has great taste! And it was a wonderful way to get the word out to women that if they have curves, they finally have options when it comes to jeans.
RM: What are the available sizes and styles?
CJ: CJ is available from sizes 2-18 and Ooh-La-La to Va Va Voom—otherwise known as sizes 24-38.
RM: What is the price range?
CJ: $128-$168 RETAIL
RM: Where can they be purchased in the Orlando area?
CJ: Neiman Marcus
RM: Now that CJ by Cookie Johnson is the go to denim for curvy women, what can we expect from you next?
CJ: CJ is slowly expanding by adding a few tops each season, but mainly we want to be excellent at what we do—we want to make great fitting jeans.