When Cookie Johnson first launched her line of premium jeans tailored for curvy women, Oprah Winfrey called it her favorite.
That was five years ago. Since then, CJ by Cookie Johnson in the City of Industry has convinced retailers such as Nordstrom Inc. in Seattle and Neiman Marcus in Dallas to carry the denim line.
The latest: Johnson’s company recently made a deal with the Home Shopping Network in St. Petersburg, Fla. The line is now available at HSN.com and will be sold on TV’s Home Shopping Network.
Johnson, wife of Earvin “Magic” Johnson, said it’s a big step for the company and will help it reach more consumers.
“I’m just really excited,” she said. “I think it’s going to be fun.”
The company makes more than 20 styles, ranging from a skinny jean to a loose-fitting cut called a “boyfriend” jean. Each style comes in various washes with some more eclectic such as its blue and white tie-dyed jean.
Only select colors are available online, such as its dark wash, straight-leg Faith jean for $128 and boot-cut jean Grace for $158.
CJ by Cookie Johnson was founded in 2009 and has a staff of seven. In addition to Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, about 300 specialty stores across the country stock the jeans. They’re also available through online retailers Amazon.com Inc. in Seattle and Zappos.com in Las Vegas. Prices range from $119 to $198.
While the styles were created with large sizes in mind, Johnson said the cuts have evolved “for every woman who has a shape to her.” Sizes range from a 2 to 18.
Johnson switched manufacturers more than a year ago to increase her production capability. She works with Swatfame Inc., a manufacturer in City of Industry, and that association will help her create a lower-price line to cater to a larger market, not just the upscale buyer.
“I want to do a line that’s more price conscious,” she said. “My husband built his business and built his brand in the community. These jeans price the community out and I want to make sure we include all people.”
– Subrina Hudson
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