Leandra Medine, founder of ManRepeller and my ultimate fashion inspiration, interviewed the ever-original fashion designer, Betsey Johnson, in a cozy conversation filled with life advice on success and failure. To be part of the dialogue between these two meant the world to me. It was as if I was sitting on a couch with Betsey Johnson myself. And for this girl, who first fell in love as a teenager to the dresses and tulle and romance of this truly one-of-a-kind designer, it brought my childhood fashion dreams back in an instant! Here are some snippets of wisdom and lessons in living a happy life from Betsey herself:
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.
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.
My personal style has always been central to the brand, and it’s always been experimental because I’m my own guinea pig. I used to wear everything I made and that’s the only reason I made clothes.
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 shit”? 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.
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.