Richest BusinessDesigners
Net Worth:
$15 Million
Aug 10, 1942 (81 years old)
5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Fashion designer, Designer
United States of America
💰 Compare Betsey Johnson's Net Worth

What is Betsey Johnson's Net Worth?

Betsey Johnson is an American fashion designer who has a net worth of $15 million. Betsey Johnson is known for her whimsical, feminine, and frequently ostentatious designs. After struggling financially for several years and nearly going bankrupt, Betsey Johnson (the company) was acquired by Steve Madden (the company) in 2010 for $27.5 million. She is also known for doing a cartwheel and a split to conclude her fashion shows. Due to her fame as a fashion designer, Johnson has appeared on several reality television shows, including as a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars" and as a guest judge on "Sugar Rush" and "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars."

Early Life and Education

Betsey Johnson was born on August 10, 1942 in Wethersfield, Connecticut as the second of three children of Lena and John. She has an older sister named Sally and a younger brother named Robert. Growing up in Terryville, Connecticut, Johnson took dance lessons and became interested in costume design. After graduating from high school, she attended the Pratt Institute in New York City, and then Syracuse University upstate.

Career Beginnings

Johnson commenced her professional career after she entered and won a contest to become a guest editor for Mademoiselle magazine. Within a year after that, she became the in-house designer for the Manhattan boutique Paraphernalia. Working within the youthquake fashion movement of the 1960s, Johnson got involved in Andy Warhol's underground scene and rubbed shoulders with Edie Sedgwick, Lou Reed, and Nico, among other countercultural figures. In 1969, she opened her own boutique on the Upper East Side called Betsey Bunky Nini; her house model was Sedgwick.

Rise to Prominence in the 1970s

Johnson rose to prominence in the fashion world in the 1970s. As the new head of the fashion label Alley Cat, which was popular with rock musicians, she debuted a collection that sold around $5 million in volume. Later in the decade, Johnson launched her own fashion line. However, after her second collection floundered, she had insufficient funding to stage her 1981 fashion show. Johnson still managed to open a retail store in New York City's SoHo neighborhood.

Betsey Johnson net worth

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Fashion Career in the 21st Century

For her prolific fashion career, Johnson was inducted into the Fashion Walk of Fame in 2002. The following year, she expanded her line to include handbags, hats, scarves, and various other accessories. In 2009, Johnson earned the Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement in Fashion from the National Arts Club. She subsequently had a buzzy ready-to-wear fashion show in 2010, in which the models were supposed to come down the runway riding bicycles. When this concept proved to be too dangerous, Johnson had one of her models ride a skateboard instead. However, the model fell over and lost one of her open-toed platform heels. Despite having fallen on hard times and filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the spring of 2012, Johnson held a 40-year anniversary retrospective fashion show later in the year. The show featured a performance from Cyndi Lauper.

Reality Television

Johnson has appeared on a number of reality television shows since the 2010s. In 2013, she and her daughter Lulu began starring on the Style Network reality series "XOX Betsey." The next year, she competed in the 19th season of the dance competition series "Dancing with the Stars." Paired with professional partner Tony Dovolani, she was the fourth to be eliminated from the show. Johnson returned to reality television in 2018 to serve as a guest judge on the Netflix baking competition show "Sugar Rush." Four years later, she served as a guest judge in an episode of the seventh season of "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars."

Personal Life

Johnson has been married multiple times. Her first husband was musician John Cale, co-founder of the rock band the Velvet Underground. They were married from 1968 to 1969. Johnson's second husband was Jeffrey Oliviere, to whom she was betrothed from 1981 to 1984. Later, in 1997, she wed Brian Reynolds. Johnson has one child, a daughter named Lulu.

Johnson is a breast cancer survivor. She has used her profile to promote awareness of the disease via her own T-shirt and by serving as a spokesperson for Cornell Medical Center. Johnson also assisted General Motors in its annual breast cancer awareness and research campaign.

Real Estate

In 1999 Betsey paid $695,000 for a 1.65 acre property in East Hampton, New York. She sold this property in July 2015 for $1.5 million.

In 2016 Betsey paid $1.89 million for a mobile home in an upscale Malibu trailer park. She spent $550,000 on upgrades, painting the outside bright pink. She listed this property for sale in October 2019 and sold it two months later for $1.95 million. Here's a video tour:

In 2008 Betsey sold a NYC apartment for $3.6 million. That same year she paid $1.85 million for a new apartment in New York City. She listed this apartment for sale in May 2016 for $2.25 million. She ultimately accepted $1.795 million in November 2016.

"Betseyvilla" Mexico

In Guerrero, Mexico, Betsey owns a 4-bedroom, 6-bathroom home that she offers as an Airbnb. Here is a tour of the home, which she named Betseyvilla:

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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