She's a designer, an entrepreneur, a mother, and wife to legendary basketball player Magic Johnson. Ladies meet Cookie Johnson. This past weekend I had the pleasure to sit down and chat with Cookie about her latest jean collection "CJ Jeans"
1. Why did you decide to create a jean collection?
"I decided to create this jean collection because I couldn't find a jean to fit my body type. I have curves, I have thighs, and I have hips. I could squeeze into something, but it never came up high enough in the back to cover my butt, and the thighs they felt like they were so tight. I felt like I was strangling to put a pair of jeans on. So finally I got frustrated enough that I decided, I know I'm not the only one out here like this so I'm going to create a jean for a women with a real curve."
2. How does it feel to have Oprah as a huge fan of your jeans?
"O my God it's amazing it's like the ultimate! When I found out she liked the jeans I couldn't believe it. I just sent the jeans to her magazine because I wanted to see if she would wear them on a cover. Then I got a phone call and they told me she took them home from the shoot because she liked them so much. Then she told me she literally wore them 3 days in a row because she loved them and they were so comfortable she couldn't believe it. A month later I was on the show."
3. Ten years from now where do you see "CJ Jeans"?
"I would like to see a few things. I would like to see a men's line. I would like to see a juniors line, because there are a lot of young girls out there with curves. I also would like to have a collection that has some jackets and tops to go with the jeans, and lastly I would love to open my own stores."
4. What tips would you give to other designers looking to follow in your footsteps?
"I had a fashion background. I went to school for fashion merchandising. I was a buyer for years before I got married, had kids, and stopped working. So number one, make sure you go to school and learn your craft. Secondly, go get jobs at the places that are in the field you are looking to get into. Find a company that produces your craft and work for them so you can know what goes on and how it all comes together. Also consider partnering with someone because they already have the expertise you need."
5. What are your top three favorite trends right now?
"In denim it would be COLOR...COLOR....COLOR....Color is hot this Fall and for next Spring. You must do color whether you do it on the top or bottom. We want you to do it on the bottom. I have lots of color in my collection. Secondly, pattern jeans. They really are popular, we have leopard, we have python, we have cheetah coming in. Lastly, jeans with coding. They look like leather but they're actually jeans with a wax coding on them. You don't have the leather price point with them or the restriction because the material still gives. It fits your curves and is more comfortable."
6. Where can people find your collection?
"We're at Nordstom, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue"