SAN FRAN OR BUST: Betsey Johnson will have yet another reason to cartwheel at the end of her runway tonight. The designer is relocating her San Francisco store to one twice the size Thursday. Johnson will jet out to the West Coast to “hand-paint, airbrush and glitter” the facade of the 33 Grant Avenue locale and to celebrate at Wednesday’s opening night party. The multilevel space will have “little shops” for her various products. There will also be an area for customized designs, like a copy of the hand-painted dress she designed for Katy Perry to wear to the People’s Choice Awards. “They were 1,200 bucks, and we sold 20 of them. This comes from the old-fashioned idea of how you get the real deal from a couple of special things,” Johnson said.
Word has it that her latest muse, Nicki Minaj, will be at tonight’s show. One guest who is certain to be there is Johnson’s daughter Lulu, who will make her return to the runway. She also inspired the illustration for the invitation — a bra and underwear. “The tits and ass was all Lulu. She made me conscientious of curvy women,” Johnson said. “Everyone thinks you have to be so skinny to fit into my clothes. I wouldn’t be in business for so long if that was true.”
This story first appeared in the September 13, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.