The future of Marchesa – a fashion line co-founded by Georgina Chapman – is unsure after allegations of Chapman’s husband Harvey Weinstein sexually harassing and assaulting women.
Helzberg Diamonds and Marchesa’s plans to release a new collection of engagement rings dissolved the same day that the New York Times published its first article on sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein.
Chapman and co-founder Keren Craig also canceled Marchesa’s summer 2018 preview, planned for last week. And people are calling for a boycott of the brand on social media.
Last week, news broke Chapman is leaving Weinstein amid a series of sexual-harassment allegations. However, the New York Post reports that employees are trying to escape what they fear is a sinking ship.
Customers – specifically brides – are reportedly turning on the brand.
“They don’t want the association,” wedding stylist Diane Lloyd Roth told the Post. “The first question when someone’s getting married is, ‘Who are you wearing?'”
Marchesa’s bridal gowns are a crucial part of the brand’s business. In a bizarre twist, one of the brides-to-be ditching the brand is Lila Feinberg, the now-ex fiancé of Roy Prince, the Amazon Studios programming chief accused of sexual harassment. Feinberg was due to wear a customer Marchesa dress, but called off the wedding following allegations against Prince, the Hollywood Reporter reported.
Marchesa is even more likely to lose support from actresses.
Stars of Weinstein-backed productions, including Renée Zellweger, Cate Blanchett, and Blake Lively, have worn Marchesa on the red carpet. Rumors have floated for years that Weinstein coerced actresses to wear the fashion brand. Now that women starring in movies produced by Weinstein – or hoping to star in such movies – aren’t being forced to wear Marchesa, it seems unlikely that many actresses would want to wear the brand.
“With all of this coercion, how much goodwill, if any, has Marchesa built up with stylists and actresses?” Maria Tallarico wrote in entertainment blog Lainey Gossip. “Can you truly build relationships if you are pressuring people into your gowns?”
The New York Times asked six top stylists who had previously dressed celebrities in Marchesa if they would continue to use the brand. Not one would comment on if the Weinstein allegations would impact their use of Marchesa.
“No star is ever going to want to wear the brand again,” The Hollywood Reporter quoted an unnamed New York fashion publicist as saying last Monday, after Weinstein was ousted from The Weinstein Company, the studio he founded.
One area where Chapman and Marchesa may still get some support is from fashion media.
“I feel horrible about what these women have experienced and admire their bravery in coming forward,” Anna Wintour, the famed artistic director of Condé Nast, told the New York Times. “My heart goes out to them, as well as to Georgina and the children.”
Wintour has long been friends of Weinstein and Chapman, prominently featuring Marchesa in Vogue over the years. If Wintour portrays Chapman as another victim of Weinstein’s behavior, there may still be room for Marchesa in the pages of fashion magazines – even if it disappears from the red carpet.