Designer News. Sold! First Kate Spade, Now Betsey Johnson. Second City Style Fashion Blog

Fountain of 30

August 23, 2007 • Fashion


You’ve gotta love Betsey Johnson. According to WWD, the offbeat contemporary designer
has sold controlling interest of her company to Castanea Partners, a
private equity firm based in Boston.

"It gives us really great
growth opportunities," said Chantal Bacon, chief executive officer of
Betsey Johnson. "For the past 30 years, we’ve really established a
brand, and with their help we’re going to take it to the next level."

Presently, Betsey Johnson generates a little over $200 million
in retail volume through its 51 freestanding stores and wholesale
distribution, said Bacon. Neither Smith nor Bacon would divulge the
exact percentage of Castanea’s majority stake, nor the amount it paid.

a grandmother who is known for her quirky personality and doing cartwheels at
the end of her runway shows, has always done things her own way. After
developing a strong following for her girly dresses and
sportswear at department stores, the company embarked on an aggressive
push the last few years to open freestanding stores and extend
Johnson’s label through licensed products such as her shoe, sunglass and handbag lines.

According to Bacon, the company’s operating structure will remain the
same. The company employs 310 people throughout its wholesale and
retail operation. "We have a great team in place," she said. "We will
continue to run the business as usual, leveraging the success of the
past 30 years." Just with more money…

With the financial input from Castanea, the
company’s goal is to add an additional 10 to 12 Betsey Johnson stores a

Read "Betsey in a Cartwheel: Johnson Sells Majority to Castanea Marketing Firm"


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