Last year Betsey Johnson sold a majority stake in her company to Castanea Partners, an equity group based in Cambridge. The extra cash flow helped Johnson purchase not one, but two apartments uptown on Madison Avenue. She lives in one, and her daughter and granddaughter live in the other. This seemed a rather blasphemous move for Johnson, who blossomed to fame from deep downtown roots. But Johnson has taken to the uptown lifestyle like manatees to lazy Florida rivers, thanks to the shopping:
"I do really enjoy Krizia with Valentino thrown in and Gaultier and Rykiel and a Barneys spree," she said, adding that she recently dropped close to $8,000 at Alexander McQueen. "I just can't walk three blocks without spending serious money."
Does she feel like a sellout? Hardly. "I really feel very successful to be able to live up there and shop that street," said Johnson. "It keeps me much more informed about fashion, and supportive. The uptown stores I like to go to really are a designer's life and dream of what they love."
We kind of wanted her to miss downtown more, but who are we kidding? If we could afford to live out our Gossip Girl fantasies, we'd love it, too.
Magic Johnson [WWD]