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Betsey Johnson Quotes

Betsey Johnson Designer

Betsey Johnson quotes: brainpower by the eccentric fashion designer.

“You have to hold onto your fantasy.”

“Real success is being totally indulgent about your own trip. You put your blinders on about the garbage and go full speed ahead.”

“Staying positive and optimistic is necessary to function. And I think you have to have a dream. You have to have a personal vision and go for that. Zero in on something.”

“Celebrate the idea that you don’t fit in. Find your own fit. Stay unique.”

“I realized that my strength was being different.”

“Hard times always lead to something great.”

“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

“I just thought whatever you do, you should investigate: What do you bring to your job? What do you bring to the industry? What do you bring to the donut shop? Do you have a new recipe for donuts? Do your donuts stand out? Do they mean anything? Or do they have plenty of donuts without you?”

“The easy thing is often what makes you the money, but it’s hard to make it that easy; you’ve got to do the hard thing to make it easy. You’ve got to have a name, a look. You’ve got to have a brand, a customer, a following. You have to really be able to see why you are the most valuable strawberry in the garden.”

“Love it or leave it. And know your sh*t. I mean I was self-taught so I knew everything about cutting and sewing. The best career advice I ever got was: ‘You want to do what you want—be creative? Pay for it.'”

“The one thing I learned right away is you’re only as good as your last sale. That classic thing that I swear kids in school never learn. They only learn that when they get out and they have a real job and they have to show that they’re making money for the company.”

“I’m not the type of person who dwells too much on bad things.”

“I don’t like to have time on my wall; it’s too in-your-face.”

“Work with the people you like to work with. Go with the flow a little bit more.”

“I grew up with that more personal, simple, friendly, neighborly way of doing things. I could always be the girlfriend with my customer.”

“I am a good dancer. I was a cheerleader for nine years! It is a special, weird thing being a cheerleader. You need to want to yell and perform, dance, and wear a cute little costume. It’s a thing you’re kind of born with or without. I was always dancing and acrobatics was my specialty.”

“I just did what I loved: flowers and rock ‘n’ roll. Pretty and punk. I was largely inspired by my dancing school classes and costumes.”

“If I hadn’t decided to be a fashion designer, I would have loved to be a Broadway showgirl or a Rockette!”

“I’ve always been a little off, but it’s worked really well for me, and it still works. After so many years, you have a look, you become a brand, la la la.”

“I have my on and I have my off switch. I’m as exuberant and whatever else you want to call me; I’m very private. I usually go out to dinner here by myself, five o’clock. I love it. I mean, who could ever live up to that Betsey? I’m too much for myself to live up to. I’m very opposite, privately.”

“I’m a graduate of Syracuse University. I never studied fashion design. We can talk fashion-forward. Way back then, I didn’t know a thing about fashion. Never cared to study it. And luckily, I was just born into a lovely family, great parents, farmland-kind-of-offshoot little suburb of Hartford. And growing up was really wonderful. I had my dancing school, and my costumes, and my recitals—and that was my passion. And that’s what really kept inspiring me.”

“I created my first garment when I was four years of age. I always loved to sew. I just picked it up from making costumes for my dolls, my mother sewed. The whole neighborhood sewed. I picked that up very easily. Very self-taught.”

“To earn extra money, I made things for people. And everybody else had the idea that I would maybe love fashion design. And so I thought, okay, that’s a good category, because to just graduate with an art diploma is a little too scattered. I connected, but I didn’t know with what.”

“Are there enough people doing this job beautifully, or are there some little cubbies that are still, you know, are there still some envelopes to open? And that’s what I thought: Well, the best thing that I could imagine happening was that somebody would give me an opportunity to continue making the clothes I was already making for years.”

“Finally realized in 1975 that I knew enough. I was good enough to try and go out on my own and find a dear friend who became my partner. But the industry is so night and day changed. I don’t know if a small business like mine that existed for 55 years and grew to like 65 stores, I don’t think that could happen today at all. And I think because of this damn virus, I don’t think anything’s going to be the same.”

“The artist in me cries out for design. A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

“I never wanted to be on a pedestal.”

“Making clothes involves what I like: color, pattern, shape and movement. I like the everyday process. The people, the pressure, the surprise of seeing the work come alive walking and dancing around on strangers. Like red lipstick on the mouth, my products wake up and brighten and bring the wearer to life, drawing attention to her beauty and specialness… her moods and movements… her dreams and fantasies.”

“Former American First Lady, Jackie Kennedy, wore my clothes.”

“In the 60’s there was a look. In the 70’s there was a look, and in the 80’s. Now, it’s a free-for-all.”

“Girls do not dress for boys. They dress for themselves, and of course, each other. If girls dressed for boys, they’d just walk around naked at all times.”

“When I run into my customers now, they can tell me exactly what they wore. They don’t part with their old favorite Betsey dresses. That, to me, is just the epitome of success.”

“I couldn’t live if I wasn’t a designer.”

“For me, success had nothing to do with money. Success was functioning. I’m sure it’s the same for every designer. All you want to do is look out the window and see someone wearing your clothes.”

“As long as I look good, I’m very happy—and as long as I look consistently me.”

“Always have fun with fashion. Dress to entertain yourself.”

“I love New York. You want to find out if you’re any good? Try New York. Who sang that? Frank Sinatra? If you make it here, you can make it anywhere.”

“Oh, I love the kids more than any other age group. I hate to say that, but new life is with new kids, you know? They’re the future. The sheer fact that they’re young and eager, that’s what makes them rule.”

“Love is a disease of the heart [and] in the end, there is no treatment curable and it might just kill you.”

“Keep your sunny side up, keep yourself beautiful, and indulge yourself!”

“Do I have any regrets? About three and a half husbands, yes. I’m kidding; I don’t really regret anything; why regret something that’s over with? I am a worrywart, though. I’m very straightforward. I love my work, and what made it interesting was that it wouldn’t have been any good if I hadn’t worried about it, thought about it and cared about it. I guess ‘worry’ is another word for ‘care.'”

“You’ve got to wake up in the morning and be happy. Feel happy to be alive. I believe you do have to drum up your happiness. I believe you can go either way and it’s all in your head. And who doesn’t wake up in the morning and go, ‘I feel like sh*t?’ But you’ve got to force yourself to think, ‘You know what, there’s something I want to accomplish today.’ You have to make up some reason for why it’s going to be a good day.”

“Just love living. I love being alive. And boy do you love it more when you get older. You can’t do anything about getting older, so don’t waste time thinking about it. I like that I made myself into what I want to be at my age.”

“You’ve got to have as much luck as talent and hard work, and I have been really lucky.”

Related: Giorgio Armani quotes.

Cory Johnson: CEO of a business he has yet to launch. As seen on your mom’s phone. Scaled to 7-figures in seven seconds selling a course on selling courses. Kidding. Watch this.