The Story of the Dancer in BETSEY JOHNSON
By Beth Melillo
Betsey Johnson always brings a smile and a twirl to a room, even when she’s backstage just minutes away from her fashion show in NYC. She is clearly on a path of greatness and has fun while accomplishing it all.
She adds the grace and whimsy of a dancer to any room she enters, and when she enters a room, she enters your heart. When Patrick McMullan & I were filming with Betsey for a Full Frontal Fashion TV Segment last season backstage at her show, Betsey recognized that I was wearing one of her dresses, a gift from my parents, and that really made my day! She’s great at making people’s days.
It was my honor to talk to Betsey Johnson and celebrate her early childhood memories as a dancer which help to highlight who she is today. The story of her aspirations has become the story of her new fragrance: “Too Too.”
Beth Melillo: Betsey, congrats on all your success with your label since 1978 that has made you a leading fashion icon! How does it feel to be launching your new fragrance Too Too?
Betsey Johnson: It’s too too much fun fun!
BM: Please educate your fans on your early history as a dancer that cued your love for fashion & costume and how your Too Too fragrance is a reflection of that part of your life?
BJ: When I came to New York, I wanted to be a Rockette, but then ended up in fashion. So many of my clothes are inspired by my dancing school days, as you can see from my Too Too perfume, which is the classic leotard and tutu.
BM: How does the scent represent your personal style?
BJ: There are so many sides to my style: the playful girly side, the edgy side, and the sexy side. Too Too has them all, but this is definitely a sexier scent than I have done before.
BM: I love the bottle! Where did the inspiration come from?
BJ: Years ago I found this vintage corset bottle in Woodstock, NY. It’s from the 50s and I always thought if I ever did a fragrance I would use it as inspiration. It’s a little Schiaparelli, a little Gaultier, and a lotta me! It’s even got my lightning bolt tattoo!
BM: How does launching a perfume as a designer (amongst the many things you do) play a role in the big picture of your business?
BJ: I love having a great perfume because it’s something that everyone can get. It is affordable, it’s always in style, and it always fits!
BM: How is designing a fragrance different from designing your clothing line?
BJ: Designing a fragrance is different because you get one shot. It has to work, and it has to appeal to ALL my girls. I make so many types of clothing for so many different girls, but I want my perfume to appeal to all of them. I really have to love it because I LIVE in it.
BM: How does this new perfume connect your work from yesterday to today and what do you hope your fans will take from wearing it?
BJ: Perfume has to be so great it’s timeless! I hope my fans meet their future husband while wearing it!
BM: Describe the girl that will wear the scent?
BJ: The girl that wears Too Too is fun, flirty, fearless, kick-ass, cool, and confident!
BM: Where can we find it when it launches?
BJ: It is in Betsey Johnson stores, on our site as well as on Sephora’s website and in stores.
Betsey Johnson is one of New York’s leading fashion designers who has been rocking the fashion industry with her unique and original designs since the 1960s. As one journalist recently quoted, “If Betsey Johnson didn’t exist, we would have to invent her, simply to remind ourselves that fashion can be fun. She’s the original wild child and set to paint the town pink!”
Betsey Johnson interviewed by Beth Melillo
Written by Beth Melillo
Photography Courtesy of Factory PR
Design by Marie Havens
Betsey Johnson, Photography Courtesy of Factory PR
(L & R) “Too Too” – The Story of the Dancer in Betsey Johnson, Photography Courtesy of Factory PR