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Betsey Johnson sells Hamptons cottage to move to California

Fashion icon Betsey Johnson at her East Hampton

Fashion icon Betsey Johnson at her East Hampton cottage in East Hampton, which has sold for $1.5 million. Credit: Randee Daddona

Quirky fashion designer Betsey Johnson has sold her East Hampton summer and weekend house, clearing the way for her to move to California.

The four bedroom cottage was listed for sale for $2.4 million in February. It sold for $1.5 million, her listing agent said.

“I’m so happy to move on, but I’ll miss the house,” Johnson said in a telephone interview Tuesday from La Barrita, on Mexico’s Pacific coast, where she is “restoring” her villa to prepare it for rent.

“I had my 60th birthday there,” she said of the East Hampton house. That birthday celebration included bringing in three buses of guests for an all-day fashion show Johnson described as “like a Versace extravaganza.”

Johnson, who created see-through plastic shifts and metal micro minis that came to symbolize the London-inspired fashions of the 1960s, bought the 2,900-square-foot house in the Northwest Woods area in 1999 for $695,000

The closing on the sale is scheduled for Thursday, said Lawrence Ingolia of a Sotheby’s International Realty, who listed the Grape Arbor Lane home along with agent Marilyn Clark. He said the new owners, who will be using the house as a vacation home, did not want to be identified.

Johnson’s English cottage-style home has three full bathrooms, a half bath, detached two-car garage, finished basement and heated pool. A door to the basement displays Johnson’s height markings that she scribbled for herself and the crew from her 2013 reality show, “XOX Betsey Johnson.”

Johnson, 73 and known for performing cartwheels at her fashion shows, also is selling her Manhattan apartment. She is building a house in Malibu, California, to be near her daughter, son-in-law and their children, she said.

“They decided it was out of New York and I’ve always lived close to them,” Johnson said.

For now, the designer is concentrating on getting “Villa Betsey” together. The furnished villa will include a “Betsey Room” and a “rock ‘n roll room,” she said..

“There’ll be a sign at the entrance with my signature lips,” Johnson noted. “I just love decorating houses.”

Ingolia said Johnson had an active role in helping to sell the East Hampton house by showing up when she was in town and could attend a showing.

“When she was around I would always encourage her to hang out because there was a story behind every nook and cranny, and the people [prospective buyers] would be intrigued by her telling it and loved how she told it,” Ingolia said.

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