Meet Betsey Johnson and Try Her Groundbreaking Designs

When you rent designer dresses, your primary focus is probably on the color, cut, fabric, and style details. But the story behind how that dress came into being can be even more intriguing than the question of which shoes to pair with it. Long before young ladies were turning to the Betsey Johnson label for school dance dresses, Betsey was busy developing her talent for dance and her eye for art.

Betsey Johnson’s Early Life
Betsey was born in 1942 in Connecticut. During her early years, she showed a remarkable talent for both dancing and drawing. Betsey loved to sketch costume ideas for her dance recitals, and both of these hobbies led to her groundbreaking career in fashion. According to Biography, Betsey has said, “I realized that making clothes is completing what a drawing can't be—going from two dimensional to reality." Designing fashion-forward dresses was Betsey’s way of blending her two first loves in life.

Betsey Johnson’s Early Career
Shortly after college graduation, Betsey won a Guest Editor Contest at Mademoiselle magazine. This opened the door to a job in the art department, followed by a job as a designer at Paraphernalia. During her early career, Johnson was responsible for pioneering the “Youthquake” movement, along with Andy Warhol and designer Mary Quant. She became known for whimsical, fun designs that used atypical fabrics, bright colors, low waists, and puffed sleeves.

Betsey Johnson’s Personal Fashion Label
By the mid-70s, Johnson’s customer base had grown up and moved on to clothes suitable for the workplace. She made ends meet doing freelance design work, but it wasn’t long before the punk fashion movement revitalized her career ambitions. She partnered with Chantal Bacon, an ex-model, to create the Betsey Johnson label. In 1978, they opened their first store in SoHo. Now, there are 65 Betsey Johnson stores all around the world. Johnson’s designs now grace luxury items like handbags, jewelry, and footwear.

Lending Luxury is proud to keep Betsey Johnson’s fashion-forward designs in stock. We offer designer dress rentals in Tampa, FL, to let you get the luxe look you want at an affordable price
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