British-born fashion designer and Project Runway All Stars judge, Georgina Chapman, has officially left producer Harvey Weinstein, stating that she is doing so for her children. Yet, many believe that her other “child,” Marchesa, the exclusive fashion label that she co-founded with fellow fashion designer Keren Craig, may be forever doomed.
Issuing an official statement to People, Chapman, who previously stood alongside her influential producer, and founder of Miramax, has left her husband. Chapman, 41, has two children with Weinstein, 66, India Pearl, 7, and Dashiell Max Robert, 4.
“My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time,”
The label, founded in 2004, the same year that Chapman met Weinstein, is co-founded by her fellow designer Keren Craig.
As a couple, the influential Weinstein and beautiful and creative Chapman really built up the popularly of the label Marchesa in Hollywood. Chapman’s “fairy tale” aesthetic, combined with Weinstein’s powerful Hollywood connections instantly influenced who dressed the stars.
It all started with Renée Zellweger, who wore the new Marquesa label on a Bridget Jones tour.
When Vogue interviewed Weinstein in 2013, he admitted that he did influence Zellweger to wear Marchesa.
“Maybe I helped, but just very, very little, with Renée Zellweger.”
Soon, Miramax stars like Cate Blanchett and Diane Kruger began wearing Marchesa, which was rumored to be a “favor” to Weinstein, according to Business Insider.
A “top” New York film publicist told PageSix that Weinstein gave Chapman celebrity contacts she never would have without him.
“Georgina would never have met so many celebrities without being Harvey’s significant other. She’s lovely — as are her gowns — but that’s true of several designers.”
Not only did Weinstein influence his Miramax starlets to wear Marquesa, he started acquiring a fashion business in order to help Georgina.
He purchased longtime fashion label Halston in 2007, and hired hired famed celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe as creative director. She soon put stars like Keira Knightly, Nicole Richie in Marchesa. It was understood that “he would be very upset” if one of his stars was not wearing Marchesa.
One Los Angeles fashion publicist explained Weinstein’s influence, along with Chapman’s complicity, stating that “they both benefited from the relationship, but she certainly knew about his bad behavior.”
“He was the mastermind behind Marchesa — orchestrating deals and using his influence in terms of the celebrity connections for her on behalf of the brand.”
Weinstein, who was always in the front row at Marchesa shows, would sit next to Vogue editor Anna Wintour. They are both longtime friends, and Wintour put Marchesa on the cover of the prestigious fashion magazine over and over.
Yet, not everyone in fashion was on board with Marchesa’s catapulting success in the beginning.
In 2007, the New York Times posted a scathing article, entitled “A Short Walk To The Red Carpet,” about the co-founders of Marchesa, Georgina Chapman, and Keren Craig.
This piece included quotes from insiders who were not terribly impressed with there meteoric rise. The paper stated that they spoke with “Hollywood power stylists, designers, and influential editors” about Marchesa, and advised that just a few “would speak on the record for fear of offending Mr. Weinstein.” These fashion experts believed that Chapman and Craig “have yet to earn their laurels.”
Patricia Black, director of a New York fashion showroom, was not afraid to speak out.
“People are asking, ‘How is it these two young gals with nothing but a lot of money behind them can put themselves out there as a brand.'”
At that time, current Elle editor-in-chief, Nina Garcia, who has been a regular judge on the Weinstein show, Project Runway since its inception, defended the Marchesa designers and stated that people were just being mean, or that “Maybe it’s jealousy.”
“This industry can be very cruel. I sometimes feel like I’m in high school again, playing a scene right out of Mean Girls.”
Chapman and Craig have certainly worked hard to build up their brand, yet, can they overcome such a horrible scandal?
Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, one New York fashion publicist, who asked not to be named, does not think that the label Marchesa will survive the fallout from association with Harvey Weinstein.
“No star is ever going to want to wear the brand again.”
Can Chapman save Marchesa? Clearly, Chapman disassociating herself with Harvey Weinstein is the only way that Marchesa could possibly survive.
The designer, who is worth $30 million, may have found a helpful promoter when she married Weinstein, but her company may end up becoming part of the fallout from the alleged sexual allegations and rape charges made towards her estranged husband. Whether Hollywood and the fashion industry will forgive and forget is yet to be determined.
What are your thoughts? Do you think that Marchesa will survive the fallout from the Harvey Weinstein scandal?
[Featured Image by Andrew Toth/Getty Images]