Betsey Johnson is back and more over-the-top than ever, as seen on Monday at her Fall 2013 runway show during New York Fashion Week, where models strutted, gabbing on their phones and doing yoga.
With the show called "BJ Kicks A," the 70-year-old designer also launched her new activewear collection as a precursor to her new workout video, which will debut on her reality show, "The Betsey and Lulu Show." Each model performed an exercise routine alongside Betsey during the show, wearing her Fall 2013 collection as they lifted champagne bottles and stretched with Betsey Johnson tights, just one piece of the designer's lifestyle brand with a long list of products.
Betsey Johnson started her eponymous label in 1978 and has since stuck to her one-of-a-kind style for all aspects of her lifestyle brand, including intimates, handbags and leather goods, footwear, watches, jewelry, eyewear, swimwear, legwear, outerwear, luggage and fragrance.
But last April, Johnson fell millions of dollars into debt, forcing her to file for bankruptcy and close all of her 63 stores, which cost the jobs of some 350 employees. The New York Times reported that the brand opened a ton of new stores in 2007, just as the economic downfall started.
“We were bogged down in five-year projections,” Johnson told the Times. “Or maybe it all began when stores started knocking off my $250 prom dresses for $49."
Her partner, Steve Madden, said the label, however, "had delusions of building a huge company and going public. So they borrowed a lot of money, they had too many stores, and their rents were too high.”
However, it appears Johnson had been planning her comeback all along, despite having to close her brick and mortar stores along the way. The designer showed a new contemporary-priced dress line on Monday, also called Betsey Johnson, which will debut in department stores and retailers priced between $99 and $249.
Her reality series will also debut in March on the Style Network, which producers said will bring an entire new generation of fashionistas to the cartwheel-loving designer.