- Georgina Chapman, wife of Harvey Weinstein, faced backlash and career damage due to her association with his misconduct, causing her fashion brand Marchesa to be on the brink of failure.
- Scarlett Johansson’s support and public wearing of Marchesa at the Met Gala in 2018 helped to separate the brand from the Weinstein scandal and revive its presence on the red carpet.
- Despite challenges and the departure of her former partner, Chapman has successfully rebuilt Marchesa, which now earns over $40 million yearly and continues to be a prominent fashion label at high-profile events.
Harvey Weinstein was once one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. His production company helped to release over 140 films, making The Weinstein Company an incredible amount of money. But all of that came crashing down in 2017 when Weinstein was accused of sexual misconduct and abuse by dozens of women as a result of the #MeToo movement. In a flash, the public persona of Weinstein went from that of mogul to predator.
Caught up in the fray was Weinstein’s wife of 10 years. People naturally assumed that Georgina Chapman turned a blind eye to Weinstein’s nefarious ways. Because of this, she became blacklisted as a result of the fallout. Chapman became persona non grata, despite the fact that she claimed to know nothing of the allegations Weinstein faced charges on and filed for divorce nearly as soon as the news broke to protect her children and keep them away from their father.
As a result, the company that Chapman had spent years building was on the brink of failure. Cue Scarlett Johansson, a woman who recognized that Chapman was being blamed for Weinstein’s sins even though she was not a part of it. Thanks to Johansson, Chapman’s career was pulled back from the brink.
Who Is Harvey Weinstein’s Ex-Wife?
Weinstein has been married twice in his life. When news broke of his numerous abuse allegations, he was married to Chapman, a woman who had made a name for herself in the fashion industry, though most only associated her as the wife to the Miramax production company founder.
Chapman, who is now romantically linked to Adrian Brody, was once half of the team that makes up the luxury design label, Marchesa. Chapman, who now solely owns the label, and her former partner, Keren Craig, began the brand in 2004 before Chapman began dating Weinstein. It quickly became a favorite for Hollywood stars attending red-carpet events.
However, the quick rise of the fashion line was a bit of a mystery until it was reported that Weinstein allegedly strong-armed women he was working with on projects to wear his wife’s dresses on the red carpet. If any of the actresses refused, funding for their films would be pulled.
As such, actresses such as Jennifer Lopez, Gwyneth Paltrow, Renee Zellweger, and more wore Marchesa to everything from film premieres to award shows.
As soon as Weinstein’s crimes against women came to light, Hollywood turned its back on Chapman. No one wore Marchesa to the 2018 Golden Globes though the designer dresses had become a staple over the years. Chapman and Craig were “forced to postpone the Spring Summer Preview.” Any collaborations that the label was working on with celebrities or other fashion houses were scrapped.
It appeared that Marchesa was on the road to filing for bankruptcy just like The Weinstein Company. But an unexpected person intervened before that could happen. Because of this, Marchesa was saved.
How Scarlett Johansson Saved Georgina Chapman’s Company
Johansson has been very outspoken over the years about the abuse of power in Hollywood, the fact that she was groomed early on in her career, that she would not stand for a breach of contract with Disney, and supported both the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.
As such, when she unapologetically chose to wear Marchesa to the Met Gala in 2018, her burgundy ombre gown that in the past would have been applauded, instead became one of the most controversial looks of the evening.
“I wore Marchesa because their clothes make women feel confident and beautiful and it is my pleasure to support a brand created by two incredibly talented and important female designers,” Johansson said of wearing the label to the Met Gala.
Marchesa would also release a statement about Johansson wearing their gown to the Met Gala.
“We are truly honored that Scarlett chose to wear Marchesa for the Met Gala,” the Marchesa statement read. “She is an amazingly talented actor who has incredible style and presence. It was wonderful working so closely with her in creating this custom look.”
Because of Johansson’s actions, Marchesa was able to slowly make its way back to the red carpet, separating the label’s name from the Weinstein scandal. Other stars supported Marchesa too; Priyanka Chopra even wore a one-of-a-kind gown to her bridal shower in late 2018.
“Georgina’s a friend of mine, and she has been,” Chopra explained. “And it’s not her fault. And I don’t think it’s right to take it out on a self-made woman what somebody in her life did.”
She went on to say, “That’s the wrong attitude. I’ve known her for years, and that was a beautiful gown, and deserved to be worn by a bride-to-be. And it made me feel like a princess. It was the right choice.”
In 2019, Chapman made a return to the red carpet for the Met Gala in a beaded gown and dressed Constance Wu of Crazy Rich Asians fame for the event as well. All these things were made possible by Johansson not being afraid to take the first step in un-canceling Chapman from Hollywood.
Thanks to her, Marchesa was saved.
How Successful Is Marchesa Today?
Despite the fact that Craig left the label in 2019, Marchesa has continued to rebuild itself in the years since Weinstein was not only accused but convicted of his crimes. Given that reports show the company earns over $40 million yearly, with a 10% bump in earnings over the past year, they appear to have survived being connected to Weinstein.
In the years since Weinstein was convicted, Marchesa has again become a staple on the red carpet. From the premieres of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts and The Little Mermaid, which was incredibly successful despite some believing the casting was controversial, to The Prince’s Trust Gala, the Time100 Gala, the 2022 Oscars, 2021 Tony Awards, and more, Marchesa was front and center.
With Chapman, herself again feeling comfortable at these events after staying away for a time, her designs will only continue to become more prominent.
Just how much Chapman truly knew about what was happening with Weinstein will never be known. But by distancing herself and Marchesa immediately from her now ex-husband and having strong women support her along the way, Chapman was able to save the company she built before being connected to Weinstein.
Barring any other scandals, Marchesa should prove to be a profitable fashion house for years to come.