Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Designer: Betsey Johnson

A little bit on B.J. herself:

Betsey grew up in Connecticutt, and spent her youner years taking dance classes (which yes, does seem relevent to the fact that she later went on to become a fashion designer).

In 1965 she landed the top designer position for a London clothing boutique called Paraphernalia. At this time, Edie Sedwick was B. Johnson's house model, and John Cale from the Velvet Underground often wore Johnson's designs.

In 1969, Betsey Johnson opened a boutinque called Betsey Bunki Nini. In 1978, she started the Betsey Johnson label with Chantal Bacon. This was the first time she wasn't designing for someone else's label, and truly allowed her to explore her fullest potential. That year, B. Johnson and C. Bacon opened their first store right in Soho. A few years later, they opened one of the first stores on Melrose Avenue in Los Angelos. In 1998, they opened a store in London, followed by a store in Vancouver in 1999, Toronto in 2003 and Japan in 2006.

In 2003 B. J. expanded her line to include not just clothing, but also shoes and lingerie. Since then, she's also added handbags, belts, cold weather accessories, eyewear, watches, jewelry, swimwear, legwear and a fragrance, boosting her brand to an American Lifestyle brand, not simply a clothing line.


1964- Wins Mademoiselle Magazine's "Guest Editor Contest"
1972- Becomes youngest designer to win Coty Award.
2002- Accepted into the Fashion Walk of Fame.
2005- Lifetime Acheivement Award (from Signature Awards and NAWBO-NYC committee.
2005- Lifetime Acheivement Award (from the Accessories Council)
2007- Designer of the Year Award (Fashion Accessories Benefit Ball)


  1. She looks a little like Vivienne Westwood.

  2. I love Betsey...totally one of a kind. She really puts the detail and creativity in all her designs. I can spot a Betsey piece from a mile away.

  3. It should be noted that designer swimwear has been specifically designed not only to make women look feminine, sophisticated, and beautiful, but also to make them feel comfortable about themselves and their body while basking under the sun.
    Thanks for sharing!