I'm excited that Cookie Johnson is here today to talk about Cj by Cookie Johnson, her new line of premium denim for women with curves. A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of attending Cookie's show that kicked off Fashion Night Out at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills. Although I've been backstage plenty of times, I've never seen a designer get swarmed by so many fans, and since there was no backstage it was nuts--but Cookie was impressively radiant and poised.
“I wanted to let women know that no matter their shape, they can look good and enjoy premium denim,” Cookie 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. “This was my story, too” adds Johnson, who works out daily, eats healthy, but isn’t a size two. “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 felt there was a hole in the market and after one meeting with her current business partner Michael Glasser, (founder of Seven, Citizens and Rich & Skinny) Cj was born.
It's easy to see why the line has been a hit--it's hip, luxurious and geared to women with curves. Personally I'm obsessed with Devotion, Cj's navy full-length silk cargo!
In addition to running her business, Cookie is married to Earvin “Magic” Johnson, is a full-time mom to their children Andre, Earvin (EJ) and Elisa, and continues her work for the Magic Johnson Foundation where she empowers and educates women through her work as a devoted philanthropist, children’s advocate and spokesperson for women’s health. I think you'll enjoy what Cookie has to say about fashion for real women. Enjoy!
mary jo: I really appreciate your philosophy of making clothing for real women. Can you talk about what made you decide to launch a line geared to women that goes beyond "the perfect size 6"?
cookie: Absolutely--it was a personal journey. I could not find jeans to fit my body. The denim industry has boomed and there were so many options for women, but for some of us - who are fit but curvy - the straight up and down design of the premium denim market left us feeling insecure and depressed about how we looked in jeans. I wanted to change that. Cj goes from a size 2 to a size 18 - and its designed especially if you need a little extra room in the thigh or derriere. But more than anything, its a stylish jean that looks great on every body type!
mj: Who are your style icons/inspirations?
cookie: Definitely Donna Karan. From season to season she just gets better. She was the first designer to create pieces that you can layer into your wardrobe that go well with a previous piece of hers from another season. Her clothing travels well and transitions great from day to evening.
mary jo: How would you describe your own style?
cookie: Sophisticated but comfortable. I love tailored or structured pieces -- great jackets, blazers, etc. But I am a firm believer that clothing should fit your lifestyle, not the other way around. Pieces should be functional and should feel great when you wear them.
mary jo: What are some of your favorite pieces in your line?
cookie: It's hard to pick because Cj has such a diverse line up of styles. But personally, I love the Faith straight leg jean right now. For my own body type its the best, and it goes with everything -- heels, boots, you name it. I love the trendier pieces like the leggings, but like every woman, I have days where I feel great in skinny jeans and days where I feel like the leggings aren't my best fit.
mary jo: What's next? What kinds of things can your fans look forward to seeing in your line next?
cookie: Spring's hottest pieces are the Felicity Flare leg and our high rise jeans. The flare is back but in a subtle sexy way and you'll see it everywhere this Spring.
Thank you Cookie for stopping by! Wishing you continued success with your jeans!
Cj Jeans Giveaway!
If you'd like to enter to win a pair of exclusive Cj jeans, leave a comment below. In case you can't wait for the giveaway, you can find Cj jeans at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus.
p.s. You can earn a second chance to win by following trustyourstyle on twitter.