Betsey Johnson Meets Her Fans

Designer Celebrates Anniversary.

NEW YORK — Though boldfacers were scarce, there was no shortage of genuine fashion fanatics at Betsey Johnson’s 30th anniversary bash held Thursday night at her Wooster Street store.

This story first appeared in the August 4, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Legions of Johnson’s pink ladies, almost all done up in frothy fuchsia-infused punk princess party gear, packed the place, turning the floral-wallpapered space into an all-too-literal hot house (the recently installed air-conditioning was apparently down and out).

While partygoers withered in the heat, Johnson, caught in a never-ending receiving line at the door, looked fresh as a spring rose in a slinky, off-the-shoulder style. “It’s so great to see some of our true blue girls from the Eighties,” she said. Indeed, women were lined up to show off their Betseywear.

“This is at least 10 years old,” said one guest of her rose-print dress, just before another overzealous attendee bounded in for a bear hug.

“You were my mentor at [Fashion Institute of Technology] more years ago than we’ll talk about,” she gushed while twirling in her black-and-silver lace dress. “I squeezed myself into this for you.”

For her part, Johnson was as excited to see her fans as her old work. “I’m collecting phone numbers,” she said. “I want their vintage back for inspiration.”