Georgina Chapman: no longer behind Harvey Weinstein, still behind a global brand

Only days ago, Harvey Weinstein insisted that his wife, Georgina Chapman, “couldn’t be standing behind me more”. Now, after a deluge of allegations against Weinstein culminated in accusations of rape, Chapman has decided she cannot stand behind him any longer.

On Tuesday, the 41-year-old British fashion designer confirmed she had left the film producer, saying: “My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions.”

Her announcement ends a 10-year marriage. But while the scandal engulfing Weinstein, 65, has made him the inevitable focus in recent days, once the dust has settled Chapman – who has two children with Weinstein, India Pearl and Dashiell – will go back to a lucrative career of her own, as co-founder of the designer label Marchesa.

The brand is a global powerhouse, claiming to be the most worn label on the red carpet last year. The supermodel Karolína Kurková wore a Marchesa frock to the Met Gala, Heidi Klum wore one to the Oscars, and Katy Perry chose Marchesa for the Cannes film festival.

But with her clothes having been highly visible at movie premieres, the question now is whether one of the biggest scandals in Hollywood’s history will affect Chapman’s business.

Chapman, who met Weinstein at a party in 2004, launched her label the same year. It made its worldwide debut at the premiere of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason the same year, when Renée Zellweger wore an embellished red bandeau sari dress. Shortly after, the previously unknown British label was sported by numerous other high-profile Weinstein associates, including Cate Blanchett at the Rome premiere of The Aviator.

But within two years, Marchesa was named one of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund’s top 10 finalists, and the dresses were featured in Vogue spreads. The brand endured. “If it floats, swishes or clings to an actor’s hips like beautiful glue … chances are it’s a Marchesa gown,” wrote the Guardian fashionteam on the label’s 10th anniversary.

“When you see her beautiful work, you feel like you’re witnessing a craft that doesn’t exist any longer,” Blake Lively, who wore Marchesa to wed Ryan Reynolds, once said. “The only designer that really makes you feel like a princess.”

Chapman was educated at Marlborough College, a private boarding school in Wiltshire, before attending the Chelsea College of Art and Design, where she met her future business partner, Keren Craig. She studied for a degree in costume design at Wimbledon School of Art (now Wimbledon College of Arts), graduating in 2001.

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