Betsey Johnson Celebrates & Plans The Future Looking Back

Betsey Johnson — the store — celebrated it’s 30th birthday with a grand party on Thursday, July 31. Betsey Johnson and her business partner and CEO Chantal Bacon celebrated the 30th anniversary with pink champagne, of course!

Johnson and Bacon met in 1975 after Bacon moved to New York from London – Bacon was selling Johnson’s children’s wear line at the time – and they instantly clicked, both sharing a mutual glam rock style sensibility and unbridled energy to make clothes.

“We had even dated some of the same men!” said Bacon.

Johnson and Bacon officially launched Betsey Johnson the brand in 1978, on Johnson’s birthday, Aug. 10.

I’m happy for the two women, really I am — even if I’ve never been able to afford a single piece. That’s really sad, considering that I was hungry for her fashions back when Betsey was just making her name. I still have fantasies about those early styles…

I check eBay for vintage Betsey Johnson every now & then too, hoping I can not recapture my past — but finally get what I darn-well should have had! And still want.

I’ve always loved her fun styles, but her designs in the 80s (or those reminiscent of those looks) have always been my favorites.


Apparently I’m not the only one either:

The popularity of Johnson’s archive is one reason why she’s launching the Betsey Johnson Vintage Collection this fall, to revive some of her best loved styles. A lot of the pieces, she says, they didn’t hold on to so she’s been spending a lot of time in flea markets and calling up friends to find some of her long-lost designs. Though, sometimes, Betsey Johnson fanatics beat her to the chase, she said.

“I was at a vintage show and I saw something of mine that I really wanted, but a girl picked it up right before me! I was like, ‘But that’s mine!'” laughed Johnson. “I should have gotten her phone number.”

I wish there were more ruffles — petticoat skirts, you know me! — especially as this was pretty big on the runway this past spring; but I really like this collection.


Here Johnson goes goth… Is it just me, or does the one on the right look like vintage Gunne Sax died black? I know, there was quite a *ahem* recycling of such dresses for “Dead Prom Queen” and other morbid Halloween costumes in the 90’s. Maybe that was just the crowd I hung with?


Until the collection is available for sale, you can find more photos of the Betsey Johnson Vintage Collection at www.betseyjohnson.com (right here).

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