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Movie Mogul Harvey Weinstein Gets Into The High Fashion Design Business

The Weinstein Company, known for its successful movie productions, is now reviving the Charles James fashion label.

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Lancome Colour Design Awards 2006

The 62 year old former partner in the Miramax movie company and current partner in the Weinstein Company Harvey Weinstein has decided to go into the fashion business. This may seem like a strange move for a Hollywood power producer whose movies have won a collective five best picture Oscars, numerous other awards and a great deal of money, but his wife, Georgina Chapman, is a designer.

It was confirmed by the Weinstein Company that it has reached a deal with the estate of the late famed designer Charles James to license his fashion brand, with an option to buy. Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, 36, Weinstein’s wife, and her brother the Marchesa CEO Edward Chapman, will serve as creative consultants for the revived label.

In a statement released by Weinstein about the move he said, “Charles James was one of the most incredible couturiers in the history of fashion and this label deserves to be a household name in same ranks as Chanel, Dior and Oscar de la Renta. There isn’t a single designer in high fashion who wouldn’t name him as a major influence. We are beyond thrilled to be spearheading the revival of this brand and bringing it back to the world’s finest retailers.”

“Charles James’ designs and gowns took everyone’s breath away at the Met ball. He’s long been an inspiration to me and everyone at Marchesa. We’re thrilled to help bring the Met exhibit to museums around the country and to bring the spirit and style of Charles James back into the fashion marketplace, ” Georgina Chapman said.

The deal is said to also include plans for a new fragrance and covers all licensing rights.

New York’s Met Museum’s newly renovated Anna Wintour Costume Center is currently holding an exhibit of Charles James’ designs which will run from May 8th to August 10th. Mr. Weinstein and his wife attended a gala Monday night hosted by the Met whose theme was Mr. James’ fashions. The Weinstein Company says that it is working together with the met to bring the James exhibition to other cities for display.

This is not Mr. Weinstein’s first foray into the field of fashion. In 2007, he bought Halston, known for its sexy ’70s style, together with the actress Sarah Jessica Parker in an effort to relaunch the brand. But the venture failed; even though they had the services of famed London designer Marios Schwab as the fashion label’s creative director and Rachel Zoe and Tamara Mellon as consultants and both Weinstein and Parker left the company in 2011.

Charles James -The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This time Weinstein expects things will be different as he will be running the company, whereas with Halston he was part of a group of investors. Harvey Weinstein is know best for buying, improving and promoting independent movies that were already under production or even completed. With his wife’s help he may be able to translate that talent to fashion design.

The Weinsten Company previously acquired the U.S. Rights to French director Jalil Lespert’s biopic of designer Yves Saint Laurent last March.




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