The future of fashion brand Marchesa is in question — and it’s all because of the man who put the fashion label on the map, Harvey Weinstein.
While the disgraced studio executive’s wife, Georgina Chapman, who designs the line with partner Keren Craig, announced this past week that she is leaving Weinstein, fashion insiders say it may not be enough to save the brand he helped her build.
On Wednesday, it was announced that Helzberg Diamonds had cancelled a collaboration with Marchesa that was due to hit stores this month.
Now, wedding stylist Diane Lloyd Roth, owner of L’Armoire clothing boutique in New Canaan, Conn., told the New York Post that clients are turning their backs on the fashion brand’s pricey bridal gown collection.
“I tell my brides to bring [pages] from magazines, and [Marchesa is] always included. [Some clients] were going to go look at Marchesa … and now they’re getting cold feet,” she said. “They don’t want the association. The first question when someone’s getting married is, ‘Who are you wearing?’”
And with Chapman and Craig having cancelled their brand’s summer 2018 preview this past week, industry insiders reveal that Marchesa employees are feeling the heat — and not for the first time.
In the past, “Harvey would call Marchesa employees and yell at them, scare the s**t out of them,” said a top fashion publicist. “It’s a tough place [to work].”
He said that Marchesa employees’ resumes are flying around town right now. “Everyone is trying to leave.”
HL Group, which handles publicity for Marchesa, did not respond to a request for comment.
A fashion source close to the brand say that, within the company, “Georgina and Keren are keeping mum and carrying on. But they’re as nervous as their staff [is].”
Weintein, insiders say, has caused problems between his wife and her design partner Craig before.
“They almost split up due to Harvey — the way he promoted only Georgina to the press and put her on ‘Project Runway’ [the fashion-competition reality show on which he was an executive producer],” said one NYC fashion executive. She credits Craig as the brand’s true “creative. Without Keren, Marchesa wouldn’t last two minutes.”
That said, multiple sources have told the Post that the two women are very close, having been friends since they met at design school in London in the 1990s.
“They are leaning on each other for support right now,” the exec added. “If the brand goes under, they both suffer.”
It certainly hurts that Weinstein’s Hollywood connection tarnishes the brand. Among the actresses who have starred in Weinstein-produced films — and worn Marchesa on the red carpet — are Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lopez, Halle Berry, Emma Watson, Renée Zellweger, Blake Lively and Kate Hudson. “Actresses won’t touch it now,” said another fashion executive.
Stylist Roth predicts some of her bridal clients will move on to designer Christian Siriano: “His dresses have the same fluffy, feminine feel.”
“I do think some stores will drop them,” said one major retailer whose stores carry Marchesa in the US. “In fashion, editors and buyers only go with what’s ‘cool.’ But they won’t suffer overseas. I think they can weather the storm.”
“Look, Georgina’s a survivor,” added the top fashion publicist. “If she can survive Harvey, she can survive anything.”