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Betsey Johnson - Designer Spotlight

Simply put, Betsey Johnson is a fashion icon. She has been designing bold, fun, and flirty apparel and accessories for women since the 1960’s. The style of collections she has designed over the years have ranged from disco-chic to retro-sweet (depending on the decade, of course). The unique combination of Betsey’s wildly exuberant attitude, whimsical prints, and eye-catching embellishments has culminated in one of the most recognizable fashion lines the world has ever seen.

In this Designer Spotlight, we focus on the exciting and unpredictable evolution of Betsey Johnson – the brand, the reality television show, and the bubbly blonde who’s turned outrageous dreams into a fashion reality.

For decades, the Betsey Johnson line has been synonymous with sex appeal, fun, and good times. The vivacious woman (who’s always had a penchant for zany prints and sparkly detailing) was running a thriving business… up until the recession hit. In 2012, the company was forced to file for bankruptcy. It was a devastating and heart-breaking time for both Betsey and her team. But, being the pioneering woman that she is, she was determined to make a triumphant come-back. And now she’s well on her way to doing just that.

Fortunately, her struggling company was bought by long-term friend (and uber-successful shoe King), Steve Madden, who helped steer her company and fashion line in a positive direction. In addition to becoming a part of the Steve Madden empire, the Betsey Johnson apparel, shoe, and accessory line got a facelift as well. Even with it’s refined, modernized look, the moderately-priced new line is a fresh, updated spin on previous designs (that were more avant-garde). The new line is designed to appeal to a wider audience, while still evoking a sense of frivolity and fun (which is the essence of Betsey Johnson’s brand).

In addition to the structural changes within the Betsey Johnson company, Betsey and her daughter (Lulu Johnson) are now embarking on a career in the field of entertainment. The Style Network is airing an exciting new reality television show featuring the mother-daughter duo, aptly titled “XOX, Betsey Johnson” on May 12, 2013 (which, appropriately enough, is Mother’s Day).

With a stylish new collection and a fun-loving new television show, as expected, Betsey Johnson is making a big, colorful splash on both the fashion world and the entertainment industry.

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  1. I love Betsey so much! She has such a wonderful vision for her brand and the cheerful colors. I feel like she has always been the punk rock version of Lilly Pulitzer. I cannot wait until the show starts.


    • Christina-Lauren says:

      I completely agree! I’m wearing one of Betsey’s gorgeous royal blue eyelet dresses to an upcoming friends’ wedding. It reminds me of a ‘Charlotte’ look (SATC). Her dresses, in particular, are my faves!

  2. I have a pair of ballerina oxfords designed by Betsey for Steve Madden that I got about two years ago and I absolutely love them! she’s a special woman, no doubt.

    • Christina-Lauren says:

      Hi Inbal! I’ve always admired the fact that she has a unique POV, and always sticks with that, regardless of what the trends are.

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