End of an Era for Bankrupt Betsey Johnson

Bad news for Stylistas: It’s the end of an era for quirky designer Betsey Johnson. Her company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday.

Sign o’ the times?

The move will close all 63 of BJ’s boutiques and force about 350 employees out of work. Johnson, 69, launched her label in 1978 and went on to become a celebrity favorite for her zany patterns and signature minidresses.

She will continue as the brand’s creative director. The designer’s lower-priced line will remain on the racks at Macy’s and other retailers.

In a statement issued Friday, Johnson’s parent company said:

“The decision to seek protection under chapter 11 comes after months of rigorously pursuing alternative restructuring arrangements to address Betsey Johnson LLC’s cash flow problems. After exhausting our resources and possibilities, it became apparent that neither a restructuring arrangement with a new equity investor nor a sale of the business enterprise as a going concern outside of bankruptcy was to be forthcoming. Accordingly, our board made the determination that a Chapter 11 store closing process will likely be the best way to maximize the value of the company’s assets, for the benefit of its creditors.”