StyleBlazer Exclusive: Designer Betsey Johnson On Her New TV Show

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Fashion designer Betsey Johnson may have filed for bankruptcy last spring, but that hasn’t stopped the 70-year-old designer who is most known for her whimsical designs and signature cartwheels at the end of her shows from continuing to make her mark on the fashion world. Last September, she celebrated her 40th anniversary as a designer and this Sunday, her first-ever reality show, XOX Betsey Johnson, will premiere on The Style Network. We chatted with the spunky designer to find what inspired her workout-inspired runway show, what we can expect from her new show and why we should tune in this Sunday at 8pm.

Why she decided to do the show:

“The show was Lulu’s [her daughter] idea. She loves reality shows and started talking about the idea with her agent. I’m at a difficult time in my career and Lulu thought it would be a good time to do the show. I thought it would be fun to do. It focuses on my work which is the my number one thing besides Lulu and my granddaughter of course.

On filming the show:

“It took six months to get the show off the ground. It wasn’t scripted. The cameras just followed along with my daily life. I couldn’t get too involved but I trusted the people [producers] behind it. I’ve only seen 10 minutes of it so far. The idea that it’s right around the corner is crazy. We’re on a rock ‘n’ roll train until it hits!”

On her unconventional relationship with her daughter, Lulu:

“I would talk to Lulu like my dearest friend since she was a month old and sometimes it was too close for comfort. We’ve separated over the years but always grown closer again. We’re now back to the basics.”

Why we should tune in to the show:

It’s not going to be the typical reality show! We’re not going to cook, that’s for sure. It’s like a fashion documentary in a way. My fans will get a close-up look of my life. It will also be fun to see the mother/daughter relationship between Lulu and I. I think it will be a fun and interesting show for everyone from the Gladys’ [her 84-year-old customer] of the world to my granddaughter.

What she learned from filming the show:

“I felt so unsuccessful when I filed for bankruptcy. On the show, I was treated like a queen and I soon began to feel proud of what I’ve achieved so far. I have an empire. The show turned around my life for the better. It made me so much stronger and brought me and Lulu closer.  It also taught me that I need to make more time for myself. I’m excited to see where the show will take me next!”

On her plans for her next fashion show and her hit workout-inspired runway show:

“I have to figure out what to do next! Some of the best things happen unplanned [like her workout/yoga runway show in February.] It all happened because I met a cute trainer at the pool. I felt like no one was making activewear the way I would do it. The activewear became a reality because the fashion show was such a hit. The line is scheduled to hit Macy’s in September.”

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