Georgina Chapman, estranged wife of disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, is not a “victim.” That’s according to her best friend and fellow Marchesa co-founder Keren Craig, who has spoken out for the first time since the accusations of sexual abuse against Weinstein emerged.
Speaking to Grazia, Craig noted how “incredibly strong” Chapman has been. “She doesn’t see herself as a victim,” she said. “That’s very important. She’s just trying to get on with her life. You’ve got to realize George is such a strong woman. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very hard time, but she’s quite inspirational.”
Craig said Chapman has thrown herself into her work and protecting her children. “Marchesa is her life; it is her passion. You see it here: Even though she was going through all that, these beautiful things have somehow come out of such a hard time,” Craig said of the latest collection, which was not shown on a runway during New York Fashion Week. Rather, it was presented to clients and friends and released online.
Despite the drama in Chapman’s personal life, Craig admitted that the brand’s business is still strong. “All our core retailers came out in support,” she said. “Neiman Marcus is a big supporter, and Saks. It means everything to us. We’ve worked hard at it, and our customers are sticking with us.”
However, the design duo’s red carpet reign has seemingly come to a halt. While Craig is certain that their dresses will once again be Hollywood staples, the company is taking a step back from that. “That’s always been a great marketing tool for us, but it’s not our core business,” she said.
Craig admitted that she did not have any suspicion that Chapman’s ex-husband had been allegedly coercing actresses into wearing Marchesa to red carpet events.
Earlier this year, Jessica Chastain revealed that Weinstein once pressured her to wear a dress from the label, then taunted her when she refused.The actress told WSJ Magazine that Weinstein had wanted her to wear Marchesa to the premiere of The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, which was distributed by his company.
Felicity Huffman shared a similar story, saying that Weinstein pressured her to wear Marchesa when she won a Golden Globe for Transamerica in 2006. Craig said it was “shocking” and “sad” to learn of Huffman’s experience with the brand. “It was the first I’d heard about it,” she said. “I remember the dress and I remember working with Felicity; she was absolutely lovely.”
When asked by Grazia if she ever had any indication about Weinstein’s alleged behavior, the 41-year-old Craig said: “Absolutely not. No, it was a total shock. It was upsetting and my heart was broken for George.”
The business partners are looking toward the future without their major backer, Weinstein, who Craig said has no remaining financial involvement. They’re hoping to expand the label by adding cocktail dresses and separates. Craig also explained that the fashion duo are in the process of working out how their brand can help to support the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, which have, in part, been a result of the Weinstein scandal. “We want to support them,” Craig said. “We want to make a gesture. We need to properly process how it can be the most beneficial.”
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