The WSJ points out that Betsey’s luxury prices but younger customer base lost out against lower-priced retailers who also cater to that demographic but at much lower prices. And Betsey herself recognizes the challenges of competing against fast fashion. “The competition — the H&Ms;, Topshop, Century 21 and the knockoff ability is unbelievable,” she told WWD. “Within three days of something being on the Internet, they have seen it, they copy it and they price-beat it.”
While 63 freestanding Betsey Johnson stores will be closing, the WSJ reports that four or five flagships will remain open in New York City and “a few other cities.” And the Betsey Johnson collection will continue to be sold at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom, according to Forbes.
Betsey Johnson LLC is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, reports Women's Wear Daily.
Betsey Johnson LLC is the designer's licensing company, which oversees the freestanding Betsey Johnson boutiques, womenswear and e-commerce. The company has been in trouble for a while, with Steve Madden buying Betsey Johnson LLC's outstanding debt in 2010 and taking control over the label, including the licensing agreements.
While countless brands describe themselves as “flirty” or “sassy,” Betsey exemplifies both. The CFDA award-winner has licensed her name to watches, lingerie, and a Samsung cell phone, all of which can be found in more than 50 colorful, joie de vivre–filled boutiques.
She started her eponymous line in 1978 with ex-model Chantal Bacon. The two opened a boutique in Soho and sold Johnson’s dancewear-inspired creations, tapping into a punk-cum-Warholian aesthetic. Decades later, she's still producing frilly retro dresses and kooky-sexy separates.
Award-winning creator and organizer of Fashion Week in New York and cities around the world, Fern Mallis has been an industry game changer in the world of fashion and design for 32 years. Former senior VP of IMG Fashion, and executive director of CFDA, she hosts fashion industry talk show “Fashion Insiders w/Fern Mallis” on SiriusXM’s flagship celebrity talk channel STARS. She’s currently president of her own leading international fashion and design consultancy—Fern Mallis LLC.
Betsey’s designs are very whimsical and ultra-feminine. At any given Betsey Johnson show or boutique, expect to see: Lolita styles, girlish party-dresses, pink fluff & frills, leopard prints, whimsical florals, vintage inspired, polka dots.
Exuberant, hip and fun, New York designer Betsey Johnson has built her long career in fashion by following her own rules. When she started designing clothes, she became part of New York’s downtown Warhol art scene; Edie Sedgwick was her house model and the Velvet Underground’s John Cale wore her designs on-stage and off. The Coty Award, Designer of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Signature Awards, the Accessories Council and the National Arts Club are just a few of the honors she’s earned. Johnson is a breast cancer survivor and a strong advocate in the fight against the disease.
Almost immediately after graduating from college, Johnson made her first splash in the New York fashion industry by winning Mademoiselle magazine's Guest Editor Contest and earning a job with the magazine's art department. Only one year later, in 1965, Johnson landed a job as a designer at Paraphernalia, an offbeat New York clothing boutique. It was at Paraphernalia that Johnson developed her whimsical, hippie-inspired style, characterized by the use of unique fabrics such as shower curtains, the interior lining of automobiles and the pinstriped wool of old New York Yankees uniforms.
Fashion designer. Born Betsey Johnson on August 10, 1942, in Wethersfield, Connecticut. Johnson grew up in the nearby town of Terryville as a child, where she indulged in her two greatest loves: drawing and dance. She had a precocious talent for art, and throughout her youth, she trained in various styles of dance. In fact, it was a combination of these two interests that eventually led Johnson to fashion designing.