Iconic fashion designer Betsey Johnson filed for bankruptcy on April 26, after reporting consistently low sales in her 63 retail stores. According to the NY Daily News, numerous locations will close up shop starting May 8, resulting in the unemployment of roughly 350 workers. Though the label has taken an unfortunate beating, Johnson confirms she will instead concentrate on her line for major department stores, including Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdale’s. The New York designer is known for her quirky dresses and over-the-top, animated outfits. Her fashion is particularly popular amongst eager celebrities who embrace generally “oddball” designs. Here are just a few of the many recognized creations and the starlets who strut around in them with pride.
Leopard, Leopard Everywhere!
It is no secret that music artist Nicki Minaj adores a multicolored, multi-patterned fashion sense. Thus, it is only to be expected that Betsey Johnson’s designs would connect well with her. MTV reports Minaj actually served as a muse to Johnson, as the hip-hop artist inspired the designer’s Spring 2012 collection. “She’s amazingly talented and I’ve been wearing her clothes forever,” Minaj told MTV. In the picture above, Minaj is sporting one of Betsey Johnson’s signature leopard pants and shoes that were created especially for her by the designer. These bottoms, as well as Elephant Bell Bottoms, are one of the countless designs Johnson is credited for. As for the leopard print, Johnson’s online store reveals she has an infatuation for utilizing the color scheme for her other designs.
All Dressed Up and Everywhere to Go
Johnson’s various dresses are what make her distinct from other designers. Her excessive embellishments and rambunctious ruffles make her style unique. Her designs incorporate bold looks with splashes of color, producing fierce, feminine designs that add personality. Household names such as Twiggy (shown above in a previous Betsey Johnson-designed dress with other models), Julie Christie, and Jackie Kennedy rocked the designer’s earlier dresses ever since they were first made popular in the late 1960’s. Nowadays, her dresses have only gotten more creative and can be spotted on television shows like “Glee” and “Gossip Girl.” Modern day celebrities are also taken with Johnson’s dresses. The online clothing store Couture Candy made a list of starlets who rocked the designer’s looks, including Kate Moss in a Betsey Johnson Sequin Strip Dress and Blake Lively in a Betsey Johnson Sheath Dress.
The Pioneer of Modern Swimwear
Betsey Johnson introduced the idea of a “mini-skirt” over a traditional bikini bottom. Not surprisingly, her redesigned swimwear blew up as an immediate trend and encouraged other fashion lines to come out with their own versions of the now-famous skirted bottom. According to Comparing Fashion, the designer’s extensive collection features the same colorful, patterned looks as her clothes and shows her creativity remains true to her girly persona. Some of these bathing suits are also retro-influenced and include individualistic tassels and straps. With such standout features, fans of Johnson’s swimwear can expect to be highly celebrated at poolside or beach events. Celebrities like Jennifer Love Hewitt (shown above in a Betsey Johnson special – a Petal Pusher Printed Bikini Top and Skirted Bottom) sport the trademarked apparel as a tool to flaunt their beauty.