Betsey Johnson: The Queen of Whimsical Fashion and Unforgettable Footwear

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Betsey Johnson is an American fashion designer best known for her feminine and whimsical shoes and accessories.

Many of her designs are considered “over the top” and embellished. She also is known for doing a cartwheel ending in a split at the end of her fashion shows.

Fashion designer Betsey Johnson arrives at Macy'sFashion designer Betsey Johnson arrives at Macy’s at the Fashion Show mall on October 21, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada (Credit: DJDM / WENN)

Early Life and Background

Betsey Johnson was born on August 10, 1942, in Wethersfield, Connecticut, U.S. She has Swedish ancestry from her father’s side and English and German heritage from her mother’s.

Raised in Terryville, Connecticut, she is the daughter of Lena Virginia and John Herman “Chick” Johnson, and has a daughter with sculptor Clark Murray.

Her only child is Lulu Johnson, a fashion designer and reality star born on April 10, 1985.

Lulu Johnson with her mother Betsey Johnson and her daughters Layla and Ella at the 2015 CFDA Fashion AwardsLulu Johnson with her mother Betsey Johnson and her daughters Layla and Ella at the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on June 1, 2015, in New York City (Credit: Ivan Nikolov / WENN)

Financial Challenges and Business Resilience

As of 2024, Betsey Johnson has a net worth of $15 million. Despite facing financial difficulties that nearly led to bankruptcy, her company was rescued when Steve Madden acquired it for $27.5 million in 2010.

Renowned for her energetic finale of cartwheels and splits at fashion shows, Johnson has also made her mark on television, appearing on “Dancing with the Stars” and serving as a guest judge on “Sugar Rush” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars.”

You can buy her bags, backpacks, dresses, handbags, jewelry, purses, sunglasses, wallets, and watches at Nordstrom and Zappos.

Featured Shoe Designs by Betsey Johnson

Below, you can check out some of our favorite shoes from the female shoe designer:

Izzie Cherry Detail Sandals1. Izzie Cherry Detail Sandals

Caira Open Toe Canvas Sandals2. Caira Open Toe Canvas Sandals

Cali Rainbow Strappy Dress Sandals3. Cali Rainbow Strappy Dress Sandals

Crystal-Embellished Bow 'Heidi' Sandals4. Crystal-Embellished Bow Heidi Sandals

Ultra-Embellished Kenna Sandals5. Ultra-Embellished Kenna Sandals

Sb-Pacey Asymmetrical Rhinestone Heels6. Sb-Pacey Asymmetrical Rhinestone Heels

We love the Cady rhinestone ankle boots from Betsey Johnson that feature a shimmering textile upper and a pointy-toe silhouette. They are pictured below with the designer’s Sage wedding shoes.

These ankle boots feature a pointed toe and a study, block heel and is fully decked out with rhinestones

These ankle boots feature a pointed toe and a study, block heel and is fully decked out with rhinestones

Your friends will be envious when they see you in this Blue by Betsey Johnson Cady dress bootiesBlue by Betsey Johnson Cady Dress Booties, $89.99

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