“CJ by Cookie Johnson” Exclusive Pieces Commemorate World AIDS DayBy Elana Pruitt | December 17th, 2013 | Category: Human Interest, Interviews | Comments Off on “CJ by Cookie Johnson” Exclusive Pieces Commemorate World AIDS Day
December 1st marked World AIDS Day, an opportunity for people throughout the world to come forward and unite in the fight against HIV, showing support for people living with HIV as well as commemorating people who have died from AIDS. World AIDS Day was first held in 1988 and has been regarded as the first ever global health day.
Cookie Johnson, fashion designer and wife of former NBA superstar Magic Johnson, is a philanthropist and board member of the Magic Johnson Foundation. With her in-demand collection of premium jeans, Cookie is not only embracing women of all shapes and sizes with her line, CJ by Cookie Johnson, she has used her philanthropist spirit to create special charity pieces to commemorate World AIDS Day. After her husband’s HIV diagnosis in 1991, Cookie has maintained an active role in fighting against the epidemic and has helped to raise awareness in a worldwide movement.
In this exclusive interview with Agenda – during a recent special event featuring her line at Nordstrom in Glendale – Cookie shared her insight on World AIDS Day and the special charity pieces from her collection.
You have been heavily committed to HIV and AIDS awareness throughout the years. What does World AIDS Day mean to you?
Personally, within my family and outwardly or publicly, it really means the same thing: Staying educated, aware, and truthful can and HAS changed the face of this disease and will ultimately stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.
We have designed a slim fit classic jean called “Truth” with a red stitched roll at the bottom and a red “Boyfriend” tee with the word “Truth” on it. The ultimate truth is this disease is totally preventable if we all act responsibly!
What inspired the cut, style, etc., of these specific pieces of your collection?
The jean’s red silk waistband is a nod to our original CJ styles that at one time all came with that waistband. It is a classic CJ brand color and also emblematic of the red silk awareness ribbon worn to commemorate World AIDS Day.
You’ve mentioned two key elements in the fight against HIV and AIDS: education and prevention. Can you please elaborate?
Our mission at the Magic Johnson Foundation is all about education, awareness, and prevention. We believe that through educating oneself about the disease, being aware of how it is contracted, what it does and how it can be prevented is the way that we will be able to stop it from spreading.
It’s about knowing the truth, getting the facts about HIV/AIDS and getting tested regularly—sharing the truth: sharing the knowledge and your status with your partner and loved ones and acting on the truth; practicing prevention and getting involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
My hope is that through the recognition CJ by Cookie Johnson has in the fashion marketplace, I can grow recognition around the fight against HIV/AIDS. My husband and I have always used our public platform to make people aware of what they can do to help fight the disease, and I hope to continue to share that message throughout my various endeavors.
As you inspire others with your own activism and outspokenness, what is the one thing that you hope people truly get from your work thus far?
If we all act responsibly, we can stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.
For those who have never gotten involved with World AIDS Day but want to, what are some simple ways they can help spread awareness?
First and foremost, GET TESTED. Then encourage your loved ones to do the same. Next, share your status! Make sure that you continue to make noise about what you know. Though we have debunked several incorrect notions about what HIV/AIDS is and how you contract it, we don’t want people to become complacent and not consider themselves at risk. It’s still a relevant problem among ALL demographics, and we never want to encourage people to think they’re not susceptible.
You are a fighter. Your husband is a fighter. Do you have a personal philosophy or motto that you live by?
We put God first. Then all other things will fall into place.