All About Betsey Johnson: Fashion And Style

Betsey Johnson is an innovator and one of the world's most beloved and outrageous fashion designers. Here are some insights into her unique style.

On the American fashion scene there are trends and rules, "hot and not-hot" lists... and then there's Betsey Johnson.

Since the 1960s, popular New York designer Betsey Johnson has provided unique designs and feel-good clothing that looks like no one else's. And, she's earned a loyal international following as a result.

Her sweetness and whimsy are legendary, and she's one of fashion's most enduring and vibrant icons.When everyone else declares it the year of demure pastels, Betsey Johnson's designs will almost explode off the runway in a riot of crayon box colors and fabulous frills.

Betsey started her career in 1964 when she won Mademoiselle magazine's "Guest Editor Contest."In less than a year, she was making dramatic fashion statements with slinky knitwear and over the top designs for the already outrageous boutique, Paraphernalia.Called the "inventor of American body clothing" Betsey's sexy profiles and fresh, clever embellishments immediately attracted a wide audience.Then and now, her silhouettes often feature little tops with oversized bottoms that flatter almost any figure.

In the late 1960s, Betsey was an essential part of the popular Andy Warhol scene.The Velvet Underground brought her campy fashions into the music scene, and by 1969, Betsey was popular enough for her own boutique, Betsey Bunki Nini.Her next adventure catapulted her further into the public eye, as Betsey broke design traditions with her work for the Alley Cat label.

Betsey made fashion headlines again in 1972 when she was the youngest designer ever to win the prestigious Coty Award.Finally, in 1978, she took the plunge and began designing under her own name; the Betsey Johnson label was officially born.

Betsey's innovative combinations of color, shape, texture, layers, pattern, and--above all--movement have kept her on top of the fashion world for over 30 years.In 2002, her contributions to fashion and her spectacularly original artistic voice were recognized when she was elected to the Fashion Walk of Fame.Her bronze and granite plaque appears on Seventh Avenue.

Today, Betsey's designs continue to startle and delight the fashion world.More than 40 Betsey Johnson stores sell her "tastefully tarty" fashions worldwide.Thousands of better department stores and specialty shops also feature Betsey's fun and funky designs.

When Betsey turned 60 in 2002, she proved that age is a state of mind... a state that she chooses not to visit any time soon, thank you very much.She still turns cartwheels on her runways and delights her audiences with delightfully unpredictable behavior.Betsey mischievously flees from any hint of matronly seriousness; her fashions are always a riot of vivid colors and joyous celebrations of life.

A strong and outspoken survivor, Betsey Johnson has earned praise for her fund-raising work on behalf of the fight against breast cancer.She has also served as Honorary Chairperson for the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer initiative.

Each season, Betsey's fans eagerly await her designer shows.They're well known for the most outrageous presentations and trend-setting designs.Betsey is acclaimed for her playful attitudes and her flippant disregard for fashion's more stodgy rules. She is an enduring fashion icon, always years ahead of many other popular designers.

It's no surprise that Inc. magazine named Betsey Johnson as one of the world's 25 Most Fascinating Entrepreneurs, mentioning her stylish life.And, as one of the few major designers who have not sold out to larger corporations or consolidated, we can count on Betsey Johnson's fashions to delight and surprise us for a long time to come.

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