Business woman, author, internationally famous fashion designer and style icon, Betsey Johnson will serve as a keynote speaker during the 10th annual Indiana Conference for Women (ICFW) on Tuesday, Nov. 10. Throughout her decades-long career, Johnson has taken pride in producing exciting but rule-breaking clothing at an accessible price—all while running her own company.


“Betsey Johnson is a trailblazer who exemplifies what it means to be authentic and true to yourself while building opportunities for others,” said Deborah Collins Stephens, co-founder of ICFW with Billie Dragoo-Garcia. “She is an incredibly successful business woman who has built a career on being herself. Our attendees will be inspired and delighted by her stories.”


The very name Betsy Johnson conjures up a favorite dress or outfit for generations of women. Some may remember her as a renegade single mother who palled around with Edie Sedgwick, Twiggy and The Velvet Underground. They may also know her as a woman who built an empire from scratch, or even as a celebrity contestant on Dancing with the Stars. Others are familiar with her as the designer who brought stretch clothing to the masses in the 80s and 90s. She is also famous for her iconic pink stores (in 2011 she had 65 shops across the U.S.) and for her habit of closing out her runway shows with a signature split or cartwheel.


As a keynote speaker, Johnson will share her experiences, which are also documented in her new book, BETSEY: A Memoir, about what it took to go from a white picket fence childhood in Connecticut to an internationally known force in the fashion world. The iconic designer and businesswoman cartwheels off in a lively retelling of her life and career. She discusses the ups and downs of business and reinventions (including bankruptcy); her thoughts on love, divorce, men, motherhood as well as her bout with breast cancer. Betsey’s enduringly witty and exuberant personality will charm and delight conference attendees.


Johnson is the recipient of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Timeless Talent Award (created just for her by the CFDA), The National Arts Club Johnson Medal of Honor of Lifetime Achievement in Fashion and was honored with a plaque on the Fashion Walk of Fame.


The Indiana Conference for Women will be held at the Indiana Convention Center. During the last nine years, the one-day Conference has featured speakers including Arianna Huffington, Martha Stewart,  Dr. Tererai Trent, Erin Brockovich and more. Tickets are $350 each and tables for 10 people are available online. Additional keynote speakers and presenters will continue to be announced. For more information, visit


As part of the 10-year celebration, the Conference created a brand new mobile phone application that features year-round educational content, updates, podcasts from past speaker sessions and other interesting information. The Indiana Conference for Women mobile phone application sponsored by Key Bank can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Major sponsors of the event include Indiana University, Strada Education Network, Ivy Tech Community College and RepuCare.


About the Indiana Conference for Women

The Indiana Conference for Women is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the educational and professional development of women at all ages and stages of careers. Since its inception in 2010, the one-day conference has become the largest gathering of professional and entrepreneurial women in the Midwest. This educational event plays a large role in the overall goal that founders, Deborah Collins Stephens and Billie Dragoo-Garcia envisioned: the building of a strong ecosystem that helps women build careers, create companies and experience lives that are rewarding, healthy and happy. For more information, visit