South O’ the Highway

Betsey Johnson Named for CFDA Lifetime Award

At a special announcement event last week, Montauk resident Betsey Johnson was tapped to receive the 2015 Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Moments after CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg named Johnson, along with other honorees and CFDA Fashion Awards nominees,  at Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center. And Johnson was so thrilled with the news that she jumped onstage, took to the podium and gave a spontaneous pre-acceptance speech.

“I am so sorry, I just want to say this is the ultimate beyond, Oh My F G moment and I didn’t think I would ever want it because I didn’t want to be 72,” Johnson, who wore one of her dresses from 1965, said to thunderous applause, “I love our  club, I love what you have done with it. I love the money we have raised for AIDs and Breast Cancer and beyond.”

“You deserve everything,” von Furstenberg added.

Johnson started her label in 1978 and later expanded her line to include handbags and accessories in 2004. This year marks the spunky designer’s 50th in fashion and she will officially receive her honor, and give her actual acceptance speech, at the CFDA Fashion Awards on June 1 at Lincoln Center in New York.

Other honorees and nominees named at the event include Vera Wang, Gilles Mendel, Italo Zucchelli, Jennifer Fisher, Simon Spurr, Lily Kwong, Ruth Finley, Kristy Caylor, Pamela Love, Mimi So, Jenna Lyons and Leandra Medine.

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