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We loved Emma Straub's ode to Betsey Johnson in the latest issue of Rookie Mag so much that we asked all you readers out there if you had any Betsey Johnson memories of your own you'd like to share. Here's a completely adorable ode to the designer from reader who has collected more than 75 Betsey dresses in her time, and lived off hummus and crackers sometimes in order to afford them.
As a teenager your store was a wonderland for a young girl with dreams of working in fashion. I would wander in to fantasize (and later sketch) in the Chicago store (then on Oak St.), and then the Melrose store on a family trip to LA, and of course Soho on my first trip to NYC.
When I made it to FIT years later, I was fortunate enough to do my freshman research project on you, and pouring through the archives (Alley Cat; Paraphernalia; Betsey, Bunky and Nini), I knew I found a kindred spirit. I bumped into you here and there walking around the garment district or at events and wondered if I'd be as stylish and fun at any age. Post college, I spent my first bonus on what is still my favorite Betsey bag (pink velvet leopard) and an addiction was born.
You have helped meld my personal style and many of my outfits garner attention and compliments. I wear Betsey almost everyday.
I have played hooky to be first in line at sample sales countless times, stayed on eBay 'til the wee hours of the morning for the most coveted pieces, been recognized by Soho store employees outside of the store, and subsisted on a diet of hummus and crackers to support dress purchases. I went so far as to name my cat Betsey (which the girls at the Tokyo store loved)!
I've lost count of exactly how many pieces I own (about 75 dresses, not to mention skirts, tops, cardigans, and an entire wardrobe of accessories and bags), but it's been worth it. I always feel my best in Betsey. They garments are flattering, fun, and flirty. They make me feel like I am going to a party—even when it's to the office or running out for a carton of milk.
My heart is broken at the inevitable end. I dreamed of going down the aisle in a white Betsey dress, and I always thought my future daughter and I would bond at a store one day, buying a dress for her first big occasion. Life will go on, but NYC will never be the same.
A Fan for More Than Half Her Life