Betsey Johnson’s New CEO Thinks The Brand Skews “Too Young”

Betsey Johnson‘s new CEO Susan Falk is jumping full force into the work of bringing the label back from the brink of bankruptcy. She’s already rolled out a new website, wants e-commerce to grow four fold (from a “small” $5 million to $20 million) and wants to open over 40 Betsey Johnson stores relatively soon.

She also thinks Betsey needs to make longer frocks.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Ray Smith talked to Falk about her plans for bringing the brand up to code and found out that for Falk’s taste, the clothes are just too youthful.

In addition to expanding online sales and opening more boutiques, the new CEO of Betsey Johnson LLC, Susan Falk, says she plans to expand the range of the label’s dresses, which she feels have been looking too young and “a little too short.” … Ms. Falk plans to appeal to a wider range of women—”that lost customer,” she says, who used to buy Betsey Johnson but in recent years felt alienated by styles that skewed too young.

But that’s the thing — Johnson’s clothes have always been youthful and edgy and a little punk rock — and the skirts have generally been, well, short. Maybe we’re too young to recall a different Betsey Johnson, but the one we’ve always known and loved — and seen our friends buy at retail prices — is the one who makes clothes that appeal to younger women. We’re all for the brand making more money, but we hope Falk will stick to her word and will simply expand the brands product offering and not change it aesthetically.

Johnson says that’s more or less how it’s going to go down, proclaiming that she’s “been true-blue to my brand for over 30 years and I’m not about to stop now.”

Falk, on the other hand, has been with the brand for a few weeks, and already she’s planning on changing Betsey Johnson’s clothes instead of making the one she already sells more appealing. We don’t know what the new Betsey Johnson will look like yet, but we’re eager (and anxious) to see just what Falk’s reign there will mean.

[Via The Wall Street Journal]

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