Betsey Johnson’s CEO Quits With Brand $48.5M In Debt

It’s sad seeing old friends part ways, and even sadder when the multi-billion dollar business they built over the course of three decades is right in the middle of things.

That’s essentially what’s happening with Betsey Johnson and her confidante and (former) CEO of her eponymous label, Chantal Bacon. The executive officially announced her retirement today, but she’s been scaling back her responsibilities at the company since April, when it came to light that the company had defaulted on a $48.8 million loan.

This announcement comes just a month after Steve Madden announced it would take over the responsibilities of the loan. We reported then that if Betsey Johnson can’t pay the loan back by 2012, Steve Madden could own the brand outright. Is the timing a coincidence? We think not. Either someone wants to get rid of Bacon (defaulting on a $48.8 million dollar loan being the most likely reason why), or Bacon doesn’t want to have to answer to anyone but her best pal Betsey. Steve Madden already licenses handbags, shoes and other accessories under the Betsey Johnson and Betseyville trademarks, so getting the whole cake wouldn’t be the strangest next step in this process.

In the meantime, Bacon is on vacay.

“I’m traveling now and my plans are to enjoy life to it’s fullest…and I’m loving it!” she wrote in an email to WWD.

Well, good for her. We kinda hope she understands that leaving the company at a crucial time looks more like a copout than anything else, but we totally get the need to get away from it all.

Also, we’re grammar people, and we couldn’t help but notice that Bacon used the wrong form of ‘its’ in her email to WWD. Did they not correct the error because it is their editorial policy to not edit quotes, or were they making a weirdly implicit comment on Bacon’s competence? We’re not saying they were, we’re, well, just sayin’.

[Via WWD]


By 2012, Steve Madden Could Own Betsey Johnson [Styleite]

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