Betsey Johnson

The Betsey Johnson store is the place where girly girl meets punk rocker. Think a corset skull top paired with a fluffy pink tutu. Betsey Johnson is a designer who has made a name for herself with her over-the-top fashion. You read earlier about the fun experience we had in their store. We met a sweet store associate and found a ton of merchandise that was made in the USA. In fact, Betsey Johnson is one of the flagship designers of the NYC Garment District, an urban mecca of fashion with historical roots that is currently being threatened by real estate growth related to proposed zoning changes.

Item found: Dresses, tanks, bathing suits, tops and shoes.

Most common countries: USA, China, Korea

Knowledge of store personnel: Good. “Betsey” was super friendly and told us a bit about her experiences working as an intern for Betsey Johnson in NYC.

Corporate info: Betsey’s studio is still located in the NYC Garment district, where the company continues to design and manufacture some of their clothing. If your not familiar with the designer herself, she’s a firecracker who at age 68 hasn’t slowed down since establishing her look in the 1960’s. Her signature move is a cartwheel that she does at the end of her runaway shows. A breast cancer survivor, she’s an advocate of the cause, and of the “Save the Garment Center” campaign to protect and revive the district.

Overall: I was intrigued to learn about the NYC Garment District and current efforts to save it, and plan on visiting the area on my next trip to the city to learn more for a feature on this movement. Centrally locating all the stages of designing, sourcing, manufacturing and marketing a product seems like the ideal business model for the fashion industry. The industry contributes over $10 billion a year to the local economy and countless jobs for the city’s residents. The area was previously protected by zoning regulations, but pressure from the commercial real estate industry threatens to strip these protections.

As far as Betsey’s fashions go, they are a bit pricey for the targeted audience of teenagers, but would be the perfect place for prom shopping. I loved my prom dress, but If I could go back to high school with the confidence I have now, I would love to rock one of her pink puffy numbers.