Betsey Johnson (b. 1942) was guest editor at Mademoiselle magazine in 1965 when she was given a design job at the new Paraphernalia boutique. There she was an important part of the “Youthquake” movement in fashion. In 1969 she, along with two friends, started their own boutique – Betsey, Bunky and Nini.
From there Johnson wore a variety of design hats: Alley Cat from 1970 to 1974, Butterick patterns from 1971 to the late 1970s, Tric-Trac by Betsey Johnson from 1974 to 1976, and Star Ferry by Betsey Johnson from 1975 to 1977. Finally, in 1978, she formed her own company, Betsey Johnson, Inc., which she operated until 2010, when Steve Madden Inc. took over her company after she defaulted on a loan. Johnson stayed on as creative director of the brand, but was furloughed in 2020.
One word that has always been used to describe the Betsey Johnson brand is “young.” Her clothes are fun and flirty, colorful and alive.
Written by fuzzylizzie