Betsey Johnson Net Worth 2022 – Salary, Income, Husbands

Betsey Johnson Net Worth 

Betsey Johnson has an estimated net worth of $50 million. Fashion designer Betsey Johnson developed her edgy, offbeat style during the new wave/punk era of the late 1970s. She earns most of her income from her fashion business. 

Betsey Johnson grew up with an interest in dance and art. Her fashion career took off after her avant-garde designs were featured in the 1960s “Youthquake” movement. However, her career stalled in the 1970s until punk rock inspired her to design clothing for a new generation. Johnson opened a boutique in New York’s Soho neighborhood, which was quickly followed by more than 60 stores around the world.

To calculate the net worth of Betsey Johnson, subtract all her liabilities from her total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity she has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of her net worth:

Name: Betsey Johnson
Net Worth: $50 Million
Monthly Salary: $40 Thousand
Annual Income: $3 Million
Source of Wealth: Fashion designer, Entrepreneur

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Early Life

Fashion designer Betsey Johnson was born on August 10, 1942, in Wethersfield, Connecticut. Johnson grew up as a child in the nearby town of Terryville, where she indulged her two greatest passions: Drawing and dancing. She had an early talent for art and practised various styles of dance throughout her youth.

In fact, it was a combination of these two interests that eventually led Johnson to fashion design. She loved the elaborate costumes she wore to dance performances and spent many long afternoons sketching costume ideas.

“I tried to do a combination of dance and art,” she recalls. Johnson says she decided to pursue fashion design when “I realised that making clothes accomplishes what a drawing can not be – going from two-dimensional to real.”

Johnson was a cheerleader in high school, and after graduating in 1960, she decided to pursue her interests in art and design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. But after a year at Pratt, she transferred to Syracuse University, where she proved to be an outstanding student, graduating magna cum laude in 1964 as a member of Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Aspiring Fashion Designer

Johnson made her first mark in the New York fashion industry almost immediately after graduating from college, winning Mademoiselle magazine’s Guest Editor Contest and landing a job in the magazine’s art department. Johnson landed a job as a designer at Paraphernalia, an eccentric New York clothing boutique, just one year later, in 1965.

Johnson developed her whimsical, hippie-inspired style at Paraphernalia, which was distinguished by the use of unusual fabrics such as shower curtains, automobile interior linings, and the pinstriped wool of old New York Yankees uniforms. Johnson is also known for her use of neon colors, puffed sleeves, deep necklines, and low waists.

Johnson, along with designer Mary Quant and artist Andy Warhol, helped pioneer what became known as the “Youthquake” movement in fashion, art, and culture, taking cues from the more avant-garde London fashion scene.

Johnson left Paraphernalia in 1970 to become creative director of Alley Cat, a young sportswear label, where she continued to design clothes with bright colors, bizarre patterns, and sexy fits.

Johnson received the prestigious Coty Fashion Critics Award in 1971 for her work at Alley Cat, making her the youngest designer ever to receive the award at the age of 29.

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Betsey Johnson Label

After this rapid rise to the top of the fashion world, however, Johnson’s career stagnated. By the mid-1970s, Johnson’s youthful target audience “switched to work and professional wear, and my customers disappeared.”

Alley Cat went out of business, and Johnson kept her head above water with freelance work designing children’s and maternity clothing. “I thought it was all over until punk started in London,” she recalls. “It felt like a reincarnation of the ’60s. It felt the same as when I was 22.

In 1978, reinvigorated by the punk movement, Johnson and ex-model Chantal Bacon started their own company, the Betsey Johnson label. Together, they opened Johnson’s first retail store in Manhattan’s trendy SoHo neighborhood. ‘Our partnership is better than marriage,’ Johnson said of her relationship with Bacon. ‘We keep our personal lives separate, but we’ve been through a lot together. She handles the books and I handle the look.”

Since its inception, the Betsey Johnson label has steadily grown in size and reputation. Currently, the company has 65 stores worldwide, including London, Toronto and Tokyo.

Personal Life & Husbands

In 2000, Johnson’s fashion career was briefly derailed when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The cancer was detected early; a turn of good luck that resulted from a strange incident when one of her cosmetic breast implants lost its shape. “My doctor said it was an absolute miracle my breast implants deflated,” she recalls. “I probably wouldn’t have had another mammogram for six months.”

Johnson underwent radiation therapy, eventually going into remission. Johnson barely lost a step from her ever-youthful ways—after returning to full health, she still managed to complete the trademark cartwheel she performs at the close of her biannual fashion show.

She also continued to reimagine her brand and, in 2003, Johnson expanded her label into a lifestyle brand, bringing her signature prints and flair to products such as handbags, footwear, swimwear and jewelry.

Once a young newcomer pioneering new trends in the 1960s, Johnson is now a firmly established veteran in the fashion industry. In 1999, the Council of Fashion Designers of America awarded her its coveted Timeless Talent Award, and in 2009, Johnson received the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement in Fashion.

Asked what continues to motivate such an accomplished designer after four decades in the industry, Johnson replied, “I like the everyday process and the people, the pressure, the surprise of seeing the work come alive walking and dancing around on strangers. Like red lipstick on the mouth, my products wake up and brighten and bring the wearer to life, drawing attention to her beauty and specialness, her moods and movements, her dreams and fantasies.”

Betsey Johnson has been married three times, first to Velvet Underground musician John Cale, from 1968 to 1971. She then married Jeffrey Oliviere in 1981 and, following a second divorce, she married Brian Reynolds in 1997. Johnson and Reynolds have since separated. Johnson has one daughter, Lulu, born in 1975.

Further Reading

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