Cookie Johnson Hugs the Curves
The stylish Cookie Johnson stopped by the New York fashion office of Neiman Marcus to show the latest threads from CJ by Cookie Johnson to buyer Debi Rodenmayer and chat with NMdaily. The collection started with jeans for curvy women, and has extended to leggings and tops.
NMdaily: What’s new for Fall in CJ by Cookie Johnson?
Cookie Johnson: Fall is one of the most diverse collections we’ve done so far. There is so much newness and novelty. Most interesting this season has been all the colored jeans…red, plum, merlot, fuchsia, cobalt. It is all about stepping out of your safety zone and having some fun. The new coated jeans that look like leather and the print jeans like leopard, python and zebra also make Fall interesting. And we expanded our exploration of the legging, the skinny, the cigarette with lots of new alternative fabrics, shapes and details.
NM: You cause a stir each time you make a special appearance in our stores; what do you say to women who typically avoid jeans because of their curves?
CJ: The events have been amazing. They become like girls’ night out. There is such a sisterhood and camaraderie that comes from these events. Women share their past frustrations with jeans and celebrate their newfound favorites in the CJ by Cookie Johnson line. I always tell the customers … don’t pre-judge, just try them on. I was like them, I am like them…you just have to try them on because they truly are different.
NM: Where do you seek inspiration?
CJ: The initial inspiration for CJ by Cookie Johnson was my body, my friends’ bodies and my determination to be able to wear the trends that are happening in contemporary—but tailored to my curvier body type. I really wanted and needed lifestyle dressing, great-fitting wearable bottoms for my body type, this curvy woman has been ignored. I shop all over the world and see things that I love, but that are not available for my body type…I want to wear what young skinny girls wear, but for my age and my body.
NM: What is your personal style?
NM: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
CJ: My family is my greatest achievement. Raising three beautiful children. I also have come to appreciate the passion I have for something very real in our lives…the efforts we make to educate people about HIV and AIDS.
NM: How do you manage being a businesswoman, wife and mother all at once? And how do you unwind?
CJ: I think the key to managing it all is being healthy, living a healthy life! It gives me the strength and stamina I need to juggle it all. I also appreciate the quiet moments when Earvin and I can sneak away to our beachhouse and enjoy some alone time, some down time. The simple things like dinner and a movie mean a lot to us.
Meet Cookie at Neiman Marcus in Tysons, Virginia on October 29, 10am-4pm.