Monday, June 4, 2012

Bye Betsey: A Betsey Johnson Tribute

Today's post is a tribute to Betsey Johnson, a quirky clothing designer known for her bold, colorful dress designs, fun fashion shows, and doing a cartwheel on the runway at the end of each show.

Betsey on the runway. Sources: 1, 2

I love the gorgeous colors, bold details, and flattering shape of Betsey's dresses. Betsey's site was one of those places I would visit sometimes over the years just to browse the dresses and dream of the day when I could properly afford them. I imagined owning her beautiful designs to be a perk of success - a goal to work toward.

Betsey founded her company in 1978. The brand flourished for a while, but along with other luxury labels, began suffering with the economic crisis. The brand has been struggling financially for the past few years now, undergoing varying partial buyouts and bail-outs. Despite the actions taken, cash flow problems caused the company to file Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in late April of this year.


Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

As a result of the bankruptcy filing, nearly all Betsey Johnson retail locations will be closed. Although there are plans for Betsey to continue selling some of her designs through various other retailers such as Macy's, it does not seem that there will be much left of the vibrant, playful Betsey Johnson brand that so many have come to love.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

As a bittersweet consolation of sorts, the company is clearing out its remaining inventory and marking down everything both online and in its retail locations. I stopped by and picked up the dress for my launch photoshoot at the San Diego Betsey Johnson store last month.

Sources: 12, 3

I am fortunate enough to own three formal Betsey dresses - one a gift from my sweet boyfriend, and the other two purchased on sale. I guess those may be it forever.


Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

So here's to you, Betsey. I hope you continue to design for as long as you can. I will miss the fancy, over-the-top fluffy and ornate designs, but I will glady stop by Macy's to check out your 'affordable retail line'.

Thanks for joining me for day 4 of launch month! Hope to see you tomorrow!

XOXO, Kelsea


  1. betsey johnson! she gets me every time! so stinken adorable!!
    xo TJ

    1. I wholeheartedly agree! Thanks for visiting - you have a beautiful blog! =)

  2. winkelhaven6/07/2012

    Well-written, Kels! I think I have a few Betsey Johnson jewelry and samples of her perfume. Ummmm...and, I have a pristine pink leopard spot purse-shaped ornament which I found at Macy's after Christmas Sale last year (it did not have the Betsey Johnson tag but it sure looked like the pink leopard spot mini pictured above!

    1. Thanks! Yes, she has some cute stuff. Funny - I wouldn't peg you as the pink leopard type, but sounds cute!


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