I definitely did not want to return to posting with this incredibly devastating news.
It is with great sadness that I bring this upon you all. I met Betsey Johnson two years ago in the Georgetown store, and she literally made me feel so special, as if we were old childhood friends (I mean, check out our picture together above!) Betsey’s sparkly and positive personality truly rubs off on anyone – I can’t remember one person not smiling upon her visit and in general if/when mentioning her. The energy and happiness she exudes is beyond anyone’s I have ever seen, so it is with deep sadness that this news had to come. The company that owns the Betsey Johnson boutique and label has filed for bankruptcy, and as a result, all of the designer’s freestanding stores will begin to close as early as May.
In a recent statement, the company stated that it has spent months trying alternative approaches in selling and marketing in order to help Betsey Johnson LLC’s cash flow problems. After several possibilities and exhausting resources, it became apparent that not even an investor nor a great sale of the business would come forth.
Betsey Johnson LLC operates 69 of the designer’s unique and world-renown boutiques in the United States, Canada, and England. An executive at the company told WWD that some 350 people (including myself) will be out of work when the stores close. While this may not affect everyone, it certainly affects the majority of us, including myself.
Betsey Johnson herself will not lose her job as she will stay within the company as creative director, focusing on her more affordable Betsey Johnson label available in Macy’s along with other department stores. In the works will also be the launch of two new fragrances alongside her most recent Tutu, a NYFW show (yes, she will still be cartwheeling down the runway!), as well as her own reality show with daughter Lulu airing on Style Network.
I must tell you what an honor it has been to work with such an incredible team and company that truly made me happy every single time I went in for work. I never felt like I was actually working considering the family atmosphere we have, the pink tutus adorning our ceilings, and the smiles we continuously put on customer’s faces, all of which made my “job” that much… less of one.While I am incredibly sad, I am also so happy and blessed to have been a part of this pink journey and I have an enormous amount of memories that will forever stay with me.
Betsey is an amazing, inspirational, and iconic fashion designer and woman that truly understands how to make girls and women feel beautiful from the inside out. What Betsey has done for her company (and myself) has been unprecedented and I definitely look forward to seeing the next chapter in Betsey’s glitter-filled, pink, bubbly journey and wish her much love and happiness.
To all the other Betsey Babes on this Pink Team, thank you, too! It has been so incredible and I wish you all enormous happiness and success in your future. I feel as if I personally know every single one of you I have called and bugged for checks and silly questions – this big pink family will forever stay in my heart. As Denise always stated, “let’s move pink mountains!”
Betsey’s Journey in a Timeline:
- August 10, 1942 – Betsey is born
- 1964 – Won Mademoiselle Magazine‘s “Guest Editor Contest”
- 1969 – Betsey opens Betsey Bunki Nini
- 1972 – Betsey (and Halston) win the Coty Award
- 1978 – Partners with Chantal Bacon
- 1998 – International expansion begins
- 2002 – Inducted in the Fashion Walk of Fame
- 2003 – Licensing begins
- March 2005 – Signature Awards and NAWBO-NYC committee honor Betsey with the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award
- November 2005 – Betsey received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Accessories Council
- May 2007 – Betsey is named Designer of the Year Award at the annual Fashion Accessories Benefit Ball (FABB)
- October 2009 – Betsey is honored with the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement in Fashion
- April 26, 2012 – One pink chapter closes, while another one is just beginning. We love you!
All info via corporate, WWD, and fashionologie.