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Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week - Betsey Johnson

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Spotlight on Betsey Johnson

Known for her colorful creations and funky designs, fashion designer Betsey Johnson is one of the many showing their Spring 2009 collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Learn more about Betsey Johnson and take a peek at her spring designs.
Spotlight on Betsey Johnson

Betsey Johnson biography

Born in Connecticut in 1942, Betsey Johnson had a childhood dream of being a professional dancer, but at the same time she could not get enough of the costuming that went along with dancing. Eventually, it was that love of costuming that would spawn her career.

Spotlight on Betsey JohnsonJohnson attended the Pratt Institute and would later graduate from Syracuse University in New York. In 1964 at 22 years old, Johnson decided to enter the contest for Guest Editor of Mademoiselle magazine in New York. She won and thereupon inaugurated her fashion career. Just a year later, Johnson was awarded the top designer position for the London clothing boutique, Paraphernalia.

In 1969, Betsey opened her own boutique called Betsey Bunki Nini in the Big Apple. Her career was only beginning. In the 1970s she became one of the top creative designers for the rock and bohemian label Alley Cat, and in 1972 she became the youngest designer to ever win the Coty Award.

Betsey Johnson label

By 1978, Johnson was ready to launch full-time into her own work, coining her new label "Betsey Johnson." Partnering with Chantal Bacon, Johnson opened stores in New York, Los Angeles, and – over the next couple decades – in dozens of other locations worldwide.

In 1999, the Council of Fashion Designers created an honor uniquely for her called the Timeless Talent award. In 2002 Johnson was inducted into the Fashion Walk of Fame for her contributions to American design. A breast cancer survivor, Johnson is a vocal advocate in fighting the disease.

Her designs are always colorful and youthful, if not outrageous, with lots of fabulous details.

Betsey Johnson runway

Flirty and funky, check out the highlights from the Betsey Johnson Spring 2009 runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Some of the designs won't translate well from the runway to real life, but nevertheless they are fun. You will see lots of tiered skirts, floral fabrics, fabulous hats and flouncy dresses.

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