Women In Fashion: Betsey Johnson!

There are many words that can be associated with Betsey Johnson- whimsical, sparkly, and fun to name a few; however, the word that we find most fitting is ICON. With over 40 years under her belt in the industry, Betsey has hit a career benchmark that puts her in the same field as designers like Valentino and and Karl Lagerfeld. As one of the last remaining relics of the “real” New York, designer Betsey Johnson is holding on to the authenticity that brought the designer her massive success with the fiery spirit for which we know and love her for.

Check out some pics of the designers Spring/Summer 2014 collection, as well as her interview with us below, and in our new issue, available HERE!

What was the fashion scene like in New York when you started out?

I never really was apart of a fashion scene. I was a part of “Downtown New York” with Andy Warhol, Max’s Kansas City, the Hotel Chelsea, and the Velvet Underground. I worked for a boutique operation call Paraphernalia, so I was not a part of mainstream fashion, whatever that was.

Do you miss those days?

I miss the young, raw, rock and roll originality of those days…

How would you describe the current creative climate within the New York fashion industry?

Mass market rules, and creativity suffers. Everything is about the bottom line these days.


Do you find that the industry supports everyone equally?

No, there are a select few who get preferential treatment. If you’re good though, you can make it through it.

How do you stay relevant in a market that is growing exponentially?

Building a brand concept that no one else has. Staying true to yourself but remembering that you’re only as good as your last collection.

Your business has changed remarkably over the past five years. How do you feel the industry responded to the changes and challenges?

Fortunately, I have a great customer/fan base that follow me through thick and thin. Full speed ahead!


Moving forward, what’s next for the Betsey Johnson brand?

Building the current business, growing the apparel, and adding more product categories, like kids’ accessories, stationary, home goods, and (fingers crossed) champagne!

Cover photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Interview: Max Mccormack

All other photos courtesy of Style.com

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