History of Betsey Johnson:
Betsey was born August 10, 1942 in Wethersfield, CT. She quickly put her love for drawing and dance into great use and channeled that into fashion. Betsey got her step in the New York’s Fashion Industry by winning Mademoiselle magazines Guest Editor Contest, earning a job with the magazine’s art department. She then earned a job in 1965 with Paraphernalia, an offbeat New York clothing boutique. Working at this boutique lead her to developing her hippie-inspired style with using unique fabrics like shower curtains, interior lining from automobiles, and pinstriped wool of old New York Yankees uniforms. She was also known for using bright dyes in her clothing, puffed sleeves, deep necklines, and low waists. She then worked with designer Mary Quant and artist Andy Warhol directly and they all pioneered the “Youthquake” movement in fashion, art, and culture.
During the mid-1970’s the type of fashion changed to work-place wear which hurt Betsey in many ways because that is not her speciality. When the punk movement in London evolved in 1978, Betsey was suddenly alive again leading to her partnership with Chantal Bacon starting the Betsey Johnson label. Their first store opened in Manhattan’s neighborhood of Soho and now has 65 stores worldwide. Her stores embodied her crazy style and celebrities like Katy Perry and Rihanna loved to wear them. In 2012, she unfortunately had to file for bankruptcy because of the recession and customers were not willing to pay for her $400 dresses. She instead wanted to focus on her Macy’s line which is more moderately priced and her customers loved that. Instead she opened up not as many stores and equaled her time with her Macy’s line and her smaller amount of stores.
Over the years her fashion has stayed the same and has been true to herself. Her designs are still wacky with very unique fabrics and is famous for her crazy dresses. Her website has a variety of items from activewear to accessories to dresses and evening wear. All of the items have the Betsey touch and she has not lost that over the years not matter what trend has been popular. No matter the heartship she has been through, Betsey still stays true to herself and over the 40 years she has been in the fashion industry she has always been one of a kind.