Who is Betsy Johnson? Kanye West shares texts with Balenciaga director

Eve Edwards October 3, 2022
Who is Betsy Johnson? Kanye West shares texts with Balenciaga director


Grammy Award-winning artist Kanye West, or Ye as is now known, adds model to his résumé in what Betsy Johnson, a creative director associated with Balenciaga, has described as a “really special” moment.

Kanye surprised unsuspecting attendees of this year’s Paris Fashion Week, making his catwalk debut in Balenciaga’s muddy, dystopian-themed show (October 2, 2022).

After making his first-ever appearance as a catwalk model, Kanye West shared a text conversation that occurred between himself and Betsy Johnson about the show.

If you’re wondering whether this is the American fashion designer Betsey Johnson, you’d be wrong. Ye was actually texting with a young creative director from England who has come to be associated with the fashion house Balenciaga and its creative director, Demna Gvasalia.

Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Burberry

Who is Betsy Johnson?

Betsy Johnson hails from Grimsby, a town in the north east of England, but is now based in London. She is a multidisciplinary artist and director, who specialises in creative direction, photography, casting and styling.

During her time at university in Manchester, Betsy “didn’t have anyone to lean on creatively,” and so took on multiple roles herself, as revealed in an interview with Exhibition Magazine.

Betsy has been associated with Balenciaga and Demna over the past few years. She met Demna while working on Donda, as reported by Vogue.

Betsy calls Kanye West’s Balenciaga runway debut “really special”

Given her close association with Balenciaga, it came as no surprise that Betsy Johnson made an appearance at the fashion house’s Paris Fashion Week 2022 show. But what did come as a surprise was an emotional reaction to seeing her friend and collaborator Kanye West walk the runway.

Kanye shared a string of texts sent between himself and the creative director after the show.

Betsy Johnson texted Ye saying: I felt a little bit emotional when you walked… It felt really special.”

To this message, Ye replied:

“After all the battles
Even this year
Pretty amazing
I’m emotional too
We have more battles ahead of us
But we’re going to win
God is on our side”

Betsy Johnson has collaborated with Kanye numerous times

Creative director Betsy Johnson has developed a friendship with 21-time Grammy Award-winner Kanye West over the past year. They have worked together on numerous projects for Kanye’s YEEZY, as well as working on Donda together.

Betsy reportedly styled the YEEZY GAP campaign as well as big role in this year’s Times Square GAP store takeover.

As Betsy Johnson is now firmly part of Ye’s YEEZY family, we’re expecting more collabs from the two creative minds in the years to come.

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Betsy Johnson goes behind-the-scenes at Balenciaga’s Fashion Week show

As Betsy Johnson celebrated Paris Fashion Week in style, she shared some behind-the-scenes details ahead of the Balenciaga show on October 2, 2022.

Betsy shared images of Balenciaga’s leather wallet invitation to access their Paris Fashion Week show, as well as snaps she took from the side of the runway to Instagram.

You can follow Betsy Johnson on Instagram @betsyjohnson_ for the latest fashion news associated with Balenciaga, Kanye, as well as more of her personal projects.

Photo by Edward Berthelot/GC Images
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Eve spends her days writing about everything culture-related. From celebrity news to music, film and television, Eve covers all bases. When she’s not writing you can find her making music or mastering the art of homemade pasta.