What's the Latest for Betsey Johnson?
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by Rachel Stone
We're all a bit confused as to what may lie in store for Betsey Johnson and her iconic and very pink brand because Johnson has been sending mixed signals. Last April, Betsey Johnson LLC filed for bankruptcy and closed all of her stores worldwide, including her flagship SoHo store in NYC. This past September, Johnson showed during New York Fashion Week with a mix of her archives and new designs. So what now?
Thank goodness BetseyJohnson.com is still going strong and the brand continues to send out marketing emails announcing sales. So is a comeback next?
Yes! Everyone bust our your favorite old Betsey Johnson dress, make sure it has a ton of crinoline, and get ready for the brand's relaunch in February.
Betsey Johnson will relaunch as a lower-priced dress line sold in department stores and on their website. Johnson's relaunch coincides with the launch of her daughter Lulu Johnson's first independent line, Lulu and Allison, as well as the mother/daughter duo starring in their own reality show on The Style Network. And to top it all off her third fragrance, Betseyfied, will launch this Summer.
The New York Times sees Johnson's endurance as not only a testament to her resilience, but "a test... of whether independent designers, birthed in the cradle of New York's downtown creative scene, can still compete in the era of fast fashion."
When asked why she thought her label failed, Johnson told the Times it was either just bad timing, "or maybe it all began when stores started knocking off my $250 prom dresses for $49."
So Johnson is fighting fire with fire - competing with fast fashion by lowering her own prices. The new line of dresses, also called Betsey Johnson, will be sold at Macy's, Nordstrom, and other retailers starting for $99 to $249. "They'll be young in spirit like Betsey is, but accessible for women up to 40 years old," a Macy's rep told the Times.
Shoe mogul Steve Madden, who now owns the Betsey Johnson brand, said he think the new line will rescue the label from its financial troubles. "There's a girl in every town that identifies with Betsey," he said. "It just means more Betsey for all of us."