Johnson 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.
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.
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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