Breaking news just informed us that our beloved Betsey Johnson has filed bankruptcy. The fabulously quirky, famously pretty in pink designer has been a long time favorite, though outrageously over the top, we can’t help but reminisce over the party dresses drowning in cake-like layers of lace and lucite-heeled, cherry adorned shoes that became our very first, and clearly apropos, designer purchases. Betsey Johnson LLC, which operates 63 of the designer’s eponymous boutiques in the United States, Canada, and England, will be forced to close store doors, resulting in the loss of that some 350 jobs, but executives at Steve Madden — which saved Betsey Johnson from collapse in 2010 when it bought Johnson’s $48.8 million debt — wouldn’t confirm how many people would be affected.
CFO Jonathan Friedman wrote in a release, “The decision to seek protection under chapter 11 comes after months of rigorously pursuing alternative restructuring arrangements to address Betsey Johnson LLC’s cash flow problems. After exhausting our resources and possibilities, it became apparent that neither a restructuring arrangement with a new equity investor nor a sale of the business enterprise as a going concern outside of bankruptcy was to be forthcoming. Accordingly, our board made the determination that a Chapter 11 store closing process will likely be the best way to maximize the value of the company’s assets, for the benefit of its creditors.” WWD
Johnson, however, will stay with the company as creative director and focus on the lower-priced Betsey Johnson label sold in Macy’s and other department stores. “I love the moderate price range,” Johnson said. “It is in sync with all the girls who are buying my clothes.” Mr. Madden said that the closure wouldn’t interrupt wholesale deliveries to stores that sell Betsey Johnson and that there would be no impact on ecommerce availability. At least the fuchsia label isn’t totally obsolete. Phew. We love you Betsey.