Cartwheels At 70: Bankrupt Betsey Johnson Is Back With A New ‘Betsey And Lulu” Reality Show And Business Model

Betsey Johnson's cartwheels are always the finale of her runway shows. Betsey being Betsey at 70.

Betsey Johnson’s cartwheels are always the finale of her runway shows. Betsey being Betsey at 70.


For 35 years she’s been Betsey, with her dancer -inspired tutus, obsession with pink and a glittery, feminine and off-center sensibility that lands her colorful frocks and accessories at  both high school proms and very grown-up  red carpet events. Encouraged to go “bigger” business-wise, the  ageless designer stumbled badly in 2012 and owing millions, was forced to declare bankruptcy and close her retail empire of 63 stores.

But it’s a new year and a new Betsey Johnson. Backed by Steve Madden, the brand has cut prices (from $400+ to a more accessible $99-$250 range) and her girly, quirky as ever, unmistakably Betsey creations will be sold at Macy’s and Nordstrom’s starting  February 2013.

And this from Time Magazine:

“Johnson and her 37-year-old daughter Lulu — who is currently cultivating her own fashion empire with her brand,

Lulu Johnson

Lulu Johnson

Lulu Johnson — will also be starring in their own reality show on the Style Network, The Betsey and Lulu Show, starting in March. Lastly, the designer’s latest fragrance, Betseyfied, is set for release this summer — rounding out the trifecta of Betsey sass that will be coming our way in the New Year.” via Time Magazine


Andy Warhol at Paraphernalla  Opening Party, 1965

In a previous life, she was the house designer for 1a betseyjohnsontulipad Betsey+Johnson+middleParaphernalla, the cooler than cool boutique (the word boutique was new then)  on Madison Avenue and 67th Street in NYC. Party planners for the store’s 1965 opening event  were Andy Warhol (pre-wig) and  muse Edie Sedgwick who wore this

Edie Sedgewick In Silvery Betsey Johynson  Mini, 1965

Edie Sedgwick In Silvery Betsey Johnson Mini, 1965

silvery Johnson design to the bash. Love the fractured bullseye logo that might have inspired Target’s current red/white graphic.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s