What’s Next For Bankrupt Betsey Johnson?
The details of what’s to become of everyone’s favorite cartwheeling designer since her company filed for bankruptcy back in April have been pretty murky so far. Sure, the 70-year-old Betsey Johnson has some impressive gymnastic skills, but will she ever be able to bounce back after shuttering all 63 of her stores and firing 350 employees?
A profile in today’s New York Times suggests that she just might. The piece outlines the new projects Johnson is undertaking, including a reality show with daughter Lulu, new fragrance called Betseyfied, and a new, lower-priced line of dresses to be sold in department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom. The collection will retail for $99 to $249, which is about half of what her prior offerings once cost.
Which means she’ll have to re-think her usual, albeit unusual, pricing index. “I’ve always kept the price of a dress at or below the price of a round-trip weekend in Puerto Rico,” she told the Times. “That’s been my formula.” And it has been working for her since the Sixties, when Johnson began designing for the downtown New York scene, until, of course, fast fashion came along and changed the retail landscape. “Maybe it all began when stores started knocking off my $250 prom dresses for $49,” she says, musing about the factors that led to her company’s financial woes.
Parent company Steve Madden hopes to put these troubles in the past, however, and we’re rooting for them to succeed. After all, the world could really use some more lighthearted fun right now, and what better way to do that than in a sparkly pink prom dress?