At Sunday night’s Golden Globes, stars wore all black in protest of sexual harassment. But amid the sea of dark clothes, one designer’s label was noticeably absent from the red carpet.
Not a single celebrity at the awards show wore Marchesa, the brand designed by Harvey Weinstein’s estranged wife, Georgina Chapman, according to The Daily Mail. After numerous sexual harassment allegations toward Weinstein surfaced late last year, Chapman’s label faced almost immediate backlash.
Often a front-row fixture at his wife’s fashion shows, Weinstein was reportedly instrumental in Marchesa’s early success, using and allegedly abusing his power to secure red-carpet placement of the designs on numerous Hollywood A-listers, like Sandra Bullock, Penelope Cruz, Renee Zellweger, Anne Hathaway, Kate Hudson and Jennifer Lopez.
"He was the mastermind behind Marchesa — orchestrating deals and using his influence in terms of the celebrity connections for her on behalf of the brand," said an L.A. fashion publicist to The Hollywood Reporter. She added that her understanding of Chapman and Weinstein’s marriage was that "they both benefited from the relationship, but she certainly knew about his bad behavior."
Another long-time L.A. based publicist recounted a time when Felicity Huffman was told by Weinstein that he wouldn't put any money behind promoting her 2005 film “Transamerica” unless she wore Marchesa on the red carpet, THR reports.
In previous years, Marchesa had a prominent presence at award shows and events. At last year’s Globes, big-name stars like Chrissy Teigen and Heidi Klum wore Chapman’s designs. The year before, Zendaya, Viola Davis and Lily James all wore her dresses, according to The Daily Mail.
The message at this year’s Globes was a bit different, however, with the focus on Time’s Up, a movement started by hundreds of women in the entertainment industry to form a legal defense fund aimed at eradicating harassment, abuse and gender inequality in the workplace.
Marchesa’s absence comes as no shock. Many in the industry predicted the label’s decline after the Weinstein scandal first broke. A New York fashion publicist who did not want to be named told THR, "No star is ever going to want to wear the brand again."
Douglas Hand, fashion lawyer at HBA LLP and professor of fashion law at NYU School of Law, told THR that “losing access to celebrities for red-carpet events would certainly be damaging.”