A Birthday for Betsey Johnson

Betsey J

It's Betsey's 67th Birthday!
(& I don't think she's crying)
Born August 10, 1942
Wethersfield, Connecticut

Johnson graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Syracuse University.

She landed the top designer position for Paraphernalia, a clothing boutique
that at the time housed the hottest young London designers,
including Mary Quant and Paco Rabanne.

Her aspirations to be a dancer and her love for costumes laid the foundation for
Betsey’s creativity and inspiration, which is still evident in her design's today.

Part of what was considered the “Youth Quake", Betsey soon found herself
in the unforgettable 1960’s Warhol scene. Edie Sedgwick was her house model.

In 1968, she married Velvet Underground's John Cale.
They divorced in 1971.She had a daughter, Lulu, in 1975.

In 1969, Betsey began her foray into retail by opening a new boutique
called Betsey Bunki Nini.

In 1972, along with Halston, Betsey won the coveted Coty Award
becoming the youngest designer to ever receive the honor.

In 1978 - Betsey scraped up money from acting in a Bayer
aspirin commercial to begin the 'Betsey' label
along with ex-model Chantal Bacon.

The first Betsey Johnson store was launched in Soho.

Betsey never has sold out to a large corporation.

Betsey is a breast cancer survivor & continues to be a strong
advocate to fight against the disease.

Granddaughter Layla

Definitely the coolest senior citizen you could ever meet.

List of her faithful clients include Paris Hilton, Katy Perry,
Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett, Debbie Harry, Janis Joplin

At the end of each of her fashion shows, Betsey is famous for
doing a cartwheel.

Betsey in her pink apartment in NYC (recently sold).

Betsey plans to semi-retire after her 2009 September show.

Eric Sartori, who has designed for Vera Wang and Hervé Léger,
will be heading the brand

Quoting a journalist (name unknown) -
"She’s the original wild child and set to paint the town pink"!

Betsey's first Mexican vacation home she named "Betseyville."

After purchasing a second Mexican residence she dubbed "Villa Betsey," Betsey
decided to turn Betseyville into an estate for rent to the public.
Check rates & visit website here.

Tell me, would you not love to kick-back in Mexico with a bottle of Patron, a platter of street taco's and shoot the breeze with this incredibly cool woman?
Eloquently put, heck no; I think Betsey would want it that way.

{go forth & live responsibly}
shall the party never end

research & photo credits: wikipedia.com; nypost.com; nymag.com; stylebyme.com; zimbio.com; life.com; apartmenttherapy.com; hookedonhouses.net; fashiongearlive.com; betseyjohnson.com; betseyville.com;


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Good for Betsey! Happy Birthday!
I never knew she was married to John Cale!!

Duchess of Tea said...

Hello Deb darling, I missed you terribly and had to return quickly, honestly, I did, I never knew that this little daily exchanges can affect my life so much. I love your post, such an interesting story, she truly is a fascinating person, I guess the quote about her being the wild child who wants to paint the town pink is true!! I loved it and will look her up more.

See you at my cottage soon, have a terrific Tuesday.

Duchess xx

Haute World said...

Such a great post. And she definitely doens't look her age. She a remarkable woman - thanks for posting all the interesting facts. I had no idea she was in an aspirin commercial! I remember seeing images of her apartment that went on sale... can't say it's my thing, but I love the fact it screamed her name!

Oh, and I managed to avoid hiking in Scotland this time around. But like you my hubby's a Scotsman, so I'm sure we'll be doing a little exploring at some point :)

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Deb. Well another timely post for me. I've been feeling ***old*** this week more than usual. Maybe just a winter thing. But this post makes you think.. what the heck!! hahaha I obviously need more pink!! I used to be able to cartwheel quite fine. Tried the other week... sort of sad results.. haha Take Care and Have Fun. xx Julie

debra@dustjacket said...

Oh yes please ... what a kick ass lady!

Pretty Neat Designs said...

Great post! She is an inspiration on so many levels.

Kellie Collis said...

Now this is one fabulous post!! i love her dresses!! THey are just too gorgeous!! x

Christy said...

I absolutely would love to hang out in her mexican pad - looks like it's always a party there! What a fun and well researched post. I love her style!

Misti of Studio M Designs said...

I would SO go hang out with Betsey! Can't believe she is that old, you would never know it from looking at her. Thanks for sharing her with us today. I am in love with the red and white striped dress she is wearing!

I finally read the story of how your blog name came to be...THANK YOU for explaining! I have wondered since the first time I saw your name.

Have a great week!

DesignTies said...

Wow, Betsey is one colourful and cool lady!! Everything about her life is so unique and "her", right down to her daughter's name. I mean, could you imagine a better name for her daughter than Lulu?? ;-)

I hope I'm 1/4 that spunky when I'm 67!!


P.S. The door is painted!!

abby jenkins said...

Betsey J is my idol! That woman has more energy and hootzpah (sp?) than most people 1/3 her age. Happy Birthday Gorgeous!

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Hey there Debs, my lovely friend,
I'm back in the land of commenting, I was feeling a bit like the Duchess of Tea..missing everyone!!...I just love Betsey Johnson .... She and Vivien Westwood.....I'm not quite that old yet, you and I are similar ages(O.K. you're a couple of years younger!!!) but I so relate to her.One shouldn't just give up once you're over 50...... that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it !!! Really brilliant and very interesting post...I learnt a lot about her. XXXX

SpryOnTheWall said...

Oh my gosh I can't believe she's 67! Wow - she's great! Thanks for the awesome post, I learned so much. Thank you also for your super kind comments! I love your blog!

Janet said...

I wish I was that cool, and how cool would it be to have Betsy Johnson for your Grandmother.

La Maison Fou said...

Betsy makes 67 look like the new 30 something!!
I am finishing you custom cards,

Anonymous said...

Oh, I just love Betsey johnson. I love her designs, her clothes and her spirit.


I adore her! She is just fabulous in every way. I want to be her when I grow up!

Fifi Flowers said...

She looks FAB!!!

Renée Finberg said...

do you know.....i think she lives in boca raton.
deb, i am trying to figure out your new site.
it is extremely cool, but it will take me a while to figure it out.


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