A few days ago, NY Mag published an interview with Betsey Johnson where the designer alluded to her possible retirement after her September runway show. Ah! What will we do without Betsey?? We know that Betsey is one tough cookie and a trooper – she’s beat breast cancer and continued to work on her eponymous line. So what gives – are the rumors true? And if they are, who will take her place?
The rumor mill has been working overtime on this one – People magazine checked in with the designer herself and she said, “I will never retire while I’ve still got my legs and my make-up box.” Haha, very Betsey. Her company had a more official statement:
With rich history and significant opportunities for future growth, Betsey Johnson wants her brand to live on forever. It is only wise that key management and talent is put in place to secure the continued health of the company for the future. Betsey Johnson will continue to provide creative inspiration and leadership as long as she is with us.
So it looks like Betsey is not leaving … for now, but who will take her place when she does? The first choice is always someone who has worked closely with the designer, in this instance, Eric Santori, the brand’s creative director, with experience designing for Vera Wang, Herve Leger and Azzedine Alaia. But what if they don’t stay within the company? What if they look for new blood? Who will they choose? Here’s my two cents…
When I heard that BJ was possibly retiring, the first person I thought of to take the healm of BJ was Richie Rich. Richie Rich’s penchant for fun, cute, girly design fits perfectly with the Betsey Johnson look. And, with Heatherette no longer taking up much of his time, this would be a great career move to keep him on the up and up.
If not Richie, then who? I thought of two more men – Jeremy Scott and Brian Lichtenberg (who at the M.I.S.S. HQ we call the young Jeremy Scott). Both designers don’t take themselves too seriously and have that “girls just wanna have fun” element to their designs. Would they do it? Jeremy may be too well known for his own designs and may not want to water down his image. Or, he could surprise us…after all, Uncle Karl designs for Chanel, Fendi and his own line – and he makes it all look very easy. This would be a great move for Brian Lichtenberg as he’s not as well known as Jeremy Scott and this would definitely put him on the fashion map.
All of this is just speculation, the last word is that BJ is not going anywhere (yay!). But, we know that she won’t be here forever so it’s a question that will need to be answered sooner or later. I just wonder if doing a cartwheel will be part of the job interview – I hope it is!
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