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Betsey: A Memoir


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About the Author

Betsey Johnson has been rocking the fashion industry with her unique and original designs since the 1960s. Known for her celebration of the exuberant, the embellished, and the over-the-top, her commitment to remain true to her one-of-a-kind vision has kept her at the forefront of fashion for over forty years. She is the recipient of the Council of Fashion Designers of America Timeless Talent Award (created just for her by the CFDA) and the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement in Fashion and was honored with a plaque on the Fashion Walk of Fame.

Mark Vitulano is a freelance writer living in New York City. He worked for Betsey Johnson thirty years ago answering the telephones at her NYC showroom. He kept his ears and eyes open. The two have been friends ever since.


"Betsey chronicles Johnson's heyday in a peppy, dishy voice laced with bravado."
-The New Yorker

"For many women, it's hard to remember a time before Betsey Johnson. . . . Nearly every It Girl-real and aspiring-has a Betsey Johnson story, either about wearing one of her dresses (trouble typically would ensue) or desperately wanting one. . . . Johnson is sharing her own story for the first time in a memoir due out next spring. . . . The stories revealed . . . will surprise and delight."

"The queen of out-there style bares all in this memoir, recalling everything from her experience as a single mother to the runway acrobatics at her legendary fashion shows."
-Vogue ("41 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2020")

"Deliciously gossipy."
-The Daily Mail (London)

"Radiates whimsy and fun. . . . Johnson is a magnificent example of what can happen when your passion is fueled with hard work."
-New York Daily News

"Her memoir will make you smile just as much as her designs do."
-Hello Giggles

"In this celebration of female entrepreneurship, Johnson writes about creating one's own opportunities and blazing forward despite the odds . . . Filled with nostalgic photos, this upbeat memoir captures the spirit and irreverence of Johnson's colorful personality and clothing."
-Publishers Weekly

"This candid book by a pioneering female entrepreneur and American original, illustrated with photos and quirky doodles, also offers details about motherhood, marriages to drug addicts and control freaks, and the obstacles one faces when battling breast cancer. Entertaining reading for fashionistas and Johnson fans alike."
Kirkus Reviews

"Iconic fashion designer Johnson recalls a tumultuous life in this gossipy, spirited, and amply illustrated memoir. . . . In addition to providing provocative insight into the ups and downs of life in the fashion industry, Johnson cheerfully details a complicated private life. . . . Anyone fascinated by New York in the sixties and seventies or by fashion in general will relish this one."

"Unabashed. . . . Chatty and unapologetic rather than reflective or inspirational . . . Johnson shrugs, smiles, and dashes off to her next adventure, always wearing something fabulous. . . . A breezy treat for fans wanting more about the woman behind the whimsical clothes."
-Library Journal

"Flamboyant, relatable, and totally unpretentious, Betsey Johnson is my kind of gal. This inspiring book is literally a manual for how to succeed in fashion and in life, all the while remaining completely and utterly true to yourself."
-Simon Doonan, creative ambassador for Barneys New York

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