Betsey Johnson's lifelong love of dance is well-documented. The former "Dancing With the Stars" contestant has been known to break into a cartwheel or two at the end of her fashion shows, and guests at last month's CFDA Awards ceremony, where Johnson received the Lifetime Achievement Award, were treated to multiple splits.
So, Johnson was a natural fit for a collaboration with dancewear company Capezio. Her 13-piece collection, which is now on sale, features bra tops, leotards, leggings and tutus, rendered in whimsical stripes, florals, leopard print and solid bubblegum pink. Prices range from $30 for a leopard brief to $125 for a tutu dress.
Capezio chose another well-known dance aficionado the be the face of the campaign — 12-year-old brand ambassador Maddie Ziegler, who got her start on Lifetime's "Dance Moms," and has since made numerous appearances in Sia music videos and magazine editorials.
Earlier this week, we sat down with Johnson and Ziegler to talk about the collaboration — a bit of a full circle moment for Johnson, who worked as freelance shoe designer for Capezio when she was just getting her start in the mid '60s.
What was working together like?
Johnson: People have such an idea of what a collaboration is. Basically after I met Maddie at "Dancing With the Stars," and I was just doing Capezio before that, I said there is my girl. It’s Maddie. And then, it’s great, the next thing I know [I get a call from Capezio] and it’s happening.
What’s different about this collection?
Johnson: Well that it’s with Capezio, who I grew up in. And it’s a dancewear collection, it’ll be in a dancewear store. Which is where all my work kind of belongs [laughs]. I wanted to be a dancer [growing up]; I was nonstop with it. You get used to wearing dancewear. It's where I come from and what I love to do.
Ziegler: Yeah, and it’s really cool because you can wear it to dance but then you can also wear this out right after — to go see your friends or something. Because it’s wearable; it's not just for dance.
Maddie, what was it like to shoot a dance campaign?
Ziegler: It’s really fun, because I don’t have to just stand there. I hate kind of just standing, because I’m such a dancer that I kind of always have to be moving around or stretching or whatever. And especially this one was so much fun because I got to jump on a trampoline for like, four hours, and I had really fun outfits.
Betsey: Oh! Brain bounce.
And Betsey you just won the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award. How does that feel?
Well it’s quite an honor!
Johnson: It’s a great honor. Because I never really played ball with the industry that much. I never wined and dined and, you know, I really did my own thing. And it’s great to feel the respect from the serious industry. Respect, for such a frivolous funky crazy silly kid. But I lasted!