cj cookie johnson jeans

Cookie Johnson, center, models the boyfriend style from her Cj by Cookie Johnson premium line. Oprah Winfrey has declared the jeans her new favorite. Photo: Cj by Cookie Johnson

StyleList jumped on the Cj by Cookie Johnson bandwagon back in August, when we first learned about the label's new denim styles made for women with curves.

And, now Oprah Winfrey has joined the fan club, touting Cj's on her talk show, wearing them for a recent cover shoot for her O, The Oprah Magazine, and declaring them her new faves.

Johnson, wife of NBA legend Magic Johnson, started the line with Michael Glasser (he started premium denim dynamos Seven for all Mankind, Citizens of Humanity and Rich & Skinny) to address the lack of high-end denim lines for women who aren't super-skinny size 2s.

"It's unreal," Johnson told StyleList today of her Oprah appearance and the media mogul's all-important endorsement. "I keep trying to pinch myself. I feel like I'm in a dream. It's exciting to see someone like Oprah so excited about the jeans."

Johnson says she had met with O's creative director to try to get the line featured in the magazine.

"He said, I really like this jean," she told us. "He said, no promises, but maybe we can get it on Oprah."

Three weeks later, Johnson says, Winfrey tried the jeans on for the cover shoot, and, as she told her studio audience, she ended up wearing them for three days - in a row.
"She had someone call and say, 'can I take these home?,'" Johnson's told us her reply, "I said, are you kidding? Do you want more?"

Even though Johnson had met Winfrey a few times before, she says appearing on the show threw her for a loop.

"I was terrified," she says. "I'm used to sitting the background and letting my husband do all the talking. But we had a great time. It was like talking to an old friend."

With Winfrey's seal of approval, the line is sure to take off (it's now in about 100 Nordstrom locations, 50 Neiman Marcus stores, ten Bloomingdales' and almost 250 specialty stores as well as online boutiques, Johnson tells us). So, what will be next?

"We'll perfect what we're doing and create more jeans, more washes," she says, adding that more pant styles, shorts and maybe even bathing suits could be in Cj's future.

Winfrey was over the moon for the boyfriend style (a top seller, along with the basic boot cut), but also showed off the straight leg, high-waisted and jegging styles on her show. Johnson says the jegging hit stores in September, and has been a huge hit.

"A legging is really hard to wear," she says. "But this legging fits an array of sizes and ages. Curvy styles aren't just for women. Teenagers have curves, too. These young girls are vulnerable and under peer pressure. Looking good in these jeans will help give them their self esteem back and feel just as hip as their thinner counterparts....I always say that this jean has no age.

"I love the product and making women happy," she says. "It's about making women feel good about themselves again, and to me that's so much more rewarding than anything else."

So, what makes Cj jeans so great for women with a little bootie?

"We have Elastin in our denim," Johnson told StyleList back in August. "We cut our jean on a curvy body type -- we offer more room in the butt and upper thigh and it contours in at the waist."

StyleList asked Johnson if there are any body types who should avoid the more curve-hugging styles.

"In the past you would hear that curvy women should avoid this look," she says. "Not true anymore. To make leggings work -- it has everything to do with how you style it."

Interested in more clothing companies that cater to curvy women? Check out this line's runway review.