I am not going to get into the business details of this issue for two reasons. The first is, I haven’t done enough reading on the topic to declare myself an expert in any way. The second is, my personal reaction is an emotional one, and I always find it better to write from an honest and personal place.
I have loved Betsey Johnson since I first discovered her designs at age 12. I was in that awkward body moment of middle school that we all remember too well, stuck between a girl’s body and a woman’s, refusing to wear a bra and yet desperate for the highest heels I could get my hands on. My mom and I had a few important things to shop for that year–friends’ bar and bat mitzvahs, our annual spring outing to the ballet, etc. We found compromise, adventure, and solace in Betsey Johnson.
Ruffles and bows offset sleek lines, thick and flattering materials complimented womanly shapes. From A-line mini’s to a sheer red wrap sweater, we found everything I needed from the ages of 12 to 17 at Betsey Johnson. My prom dress, a black chiffon number with spaghetti straps and a shredded high-low hemline was by the designer. I’ve never received so many compliments as I did on that night; ten years later, I still wear the dress for formal occasions. Such is the timelessness and whimsical elegance of a Betsey Johnson design. I continued shopping from the designer into my college years, and whenever I can afford it, on into my twenties.
This weekend I found out about the bankruptcy while “window” shopping at the King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania. The location at the mall had closeout signs in its windows and I was instantly crushed. I did pick up three gorgeous pieces–a black and pink floral slip dress, a pair of white elastic shorts with high-low skirt over them, and a black lace stretchy dress with ruffles on the toosh–all for scary low prices.
At this very sad time, I felt guilty buying these gorgeous pieces by the designer at such a steal, but pleased to know that I was able to have one more Betsey shopping experience. I encourage you to check out betseyjohnson.com for some great sale goods, and one more shot at finding some of the coolest, most unique and flattering garments out there. I also encourage you NOT to purchase the Betsey branded goods at Steve Madden and department stores. These are not actually Betsey’s designs; they are conceptualized by a team of designers under her name and she makes nothing off of these sales.