Betsey Johnson Declares Bankruptcy

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Pictured: My favorite piece from Betsey Johnson’s Black Tag line at NYFW last year (photo: M. Hall)

Eccentric fashion designer and runway cartwheel spinner Betsey Johnson has declared Bankruptcy. It seems the designer is the latest victim of our stiff suffering economy, aka the great recession.  With this Bankruptcy filing, Ms. Johnson is not going out of business.  That’s the good news.  She has filed for Chapter 11, which is a reorganization rather than a liquidation.  It is expected that more than 60 Betsey Johnson stores will close following sales and clearance on existing stock. This is beyond sad news for the employees of her stores. Although Ms. Johnson is a talented designed, she designs things that are not always commercial  or perhaps mainstream enough for the women looking for comfortable everyday wear.  Sometimes her designs and her accessories have just been eccentric, like that dreadful “Ride Me Jewelry” from her New York Fashion Week show a few seasons ago.

I’m hoping Betsey can find a retail discount partner to help her revitalize her brand and clear her debts.  Why not Betsey Johnson for Target? Now that would be a worthy discount fashion line I think.  What do you think readers? I could see her at TJ Maxx too, ala Willi Smith. It will be interesting to see what the lawyers for the designer propose for her reorganization, er survival plan. Stay tuned.  Meanwhile, I will report the upcoming sales on Betsey as I find them.  Betsey Johnson clothing will continue to be sold at Nordstrom, Saks and Bloomingdales.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.