Betsey Johnson, the New York City design veteran whose punk-ballerina party dresses are beloved by teens and spunky pop stars alike (Britney Spears was allegedly considering Johnson to design her wedding gown) is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As a result, WWD reveals, the majority of her line’s freestanding boutiques will close down by July, meaning 350 or more workers will lose their jobs.
“I feel so sad for my store people and all my pink girls. They live and die for me. But I need to be better. I really need to work well and be more efficient,” Johnson said.
Johnson may be in financial straits, but her public profile isn’t in danger of waning. In fact, she’s set to shoot a new reality style show, Betsey + Lulu, with her daughter this summer. “I am trying to make it relevant, deep and interesting about fashion rather than about gossip, girls, makeup and hair,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Johnson will keep open her colorful flagship stores in New York City, Los Angeles and a few other “key” cities; the pricier main line will be sold in these boutiques, while her more moderately priced “Betsey Johnson” label will receive more focus, as it continues to sell well in retailers such as Macy’s. Her second fragrance, Too Too Pretty, will launch this fall.