As days have rolled past, increasing numbers of actresses have been coming forward alleging that they have, at some point in their careers, been sexually harassed or assaulted by movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Whilst more news was breaking and Weinstein jetted off to rehab in Europe, his wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, remained tight-lipped. Earlier this week, Chapman broke her silence in a statement to People.
Initially, Weinstein told the New York Post of his wife's support. 'She stands 100 percent behind me. Georgina and I have talked about this at length,' adding that Chapman was helping him work towards becoming 'a better human' and to 'apologise to people for my bad behaviour, to say I'm sorry, and to absolutely mean it.' But in a recent turn of events, the designer has taken a U-turn in her decision to stand by her husband, saying: '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 [Chapman has two children, aged four and seven, with Weinstein] is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time.'
With all that's gone on, what's next for Chapman's business, luxury fashion brand Marchesa? Co-founded with former model Karen Craig and with Chapman's brother Edward as CEO, Marchesa rocketed to fashion fame with the help of Weinstein. Despite not being officially linked to the brand in any way, Weinstein has undoubtedly put Marchesa in a tight spot, with the brand's image becoming increasingly tarnished as more women come forward. Not only are Weinstein's female victims impacting the future of Marchesa, but the numerous Hollywood A-listers that have spoken out condemning his actions will immeasurably affect the brand and its previously inundated demand for red carpet events. The aftermath has already started for Marchesa, with an Instagram user commenting on a post of Marchesa's latest runway saying, 'funny how you make so much money off young women while your husband has been assaulting them.' On the day that Weinstein's sexual misconduct story broke, Marchesa announced a deal with Helzberg Diamonds, who were licensing the brand's latest jewellery line. Needless to say, Helzberg have since called it off. In addition, a New York fashion publicist, who preferred to remain anonymous said, 'No star is ever going to want to wear the brand again,' indicating that the worst is yet to come for Marchesa.
Despite being a giant in the movie industry, Weinstein was no amateur when it came to fashion either. He collaborated on several occasions with fine jeweller Chopard, co-hosting award show parties and encouraging them to place their products in many of his films. But his collaborations didn't stop there; Weinstein has been close with Vogue's Anna Wintour for a number of years, working on both fashion and Democratic Party events together and being a regular on the fashion editor's Met Gala guest list. In addition to that, Weinstein has produced numerous fashion-related projects for both TV and film, from 1994 movie Pret-a-Porter to hit long-running series Project Runway. With the use of Weinstein's influence - not to mention his contacts - Marchesa has become somewhat of a staple when it comes to celebrity red carpet styling, with Chapman's gowns making appearances at the Golden Globes and the Oscars only a few years after the brand's inception.
It's even been said that actress Sienna Miller was forced to wear Marchesa for the 2007 Golden Globes, after Weinstein expressed how upset he'd be if she didn't, which probably means that she's not the only person to have felt pressurised into wearing Chapman's designs to a star-studded function. Another anonymous fashion publicist, this time from the West Coast, described Weinstein as the 'mastermind behind Marchesa — orchestrating deals and using his influence in terms of the celebrity connections for her on behalf of the brand'. She then added that both Weinstein and Chapman 'benefited from the relationship, but she certainly knew about his bad behaviour.'
Is Chapman leaving her husband enough damage control to secure the future of her brand? It's a hard one to guess. Whilst she's decided on a clean break when it comes to her marriage, the destruction left in the path of Weinstein and his actions will be nothing short of messy for her business. Will her pending divorce be seen as enough of a peace offering or symbol of solidarity for her husband's victims to revive Marchesa's name, or is it too little, too late? It's hard to say if Chapman's beautiful brand will become the leper of the luxury fashion world or not, but only time will tell.