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Georgina Chapman: More Than Just Harvey Weinstein’s Wife

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Drexel chapter.

Recent allegations against Harvey Weinstein, though disturbing, have brought some much-needed attention to the sexual harassment problem in Hollywood. What has also been earning a lot of attention as a result of the allegations, however, is Weinstein’s family, specifically his wife.

Pictured: Georgina Chapman with husband Harvey Weinstein (Image Courtesy of Business Insider)

Georgina Chapman, co-founder of Marchesa, is a model, actress, designer, businesswoman, mother, and lastly, Harvey Weinstein’s spouse. She has been in the news lately for her decision to leave Weinstein, although Weinstein (not Chapman) had previously released a statement that she stands “100 percent” behind him.

She released a statement herself to People saying, “My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time.” 

While these events and Chapman’s decision are obviously going to have great impact on her life, it does not define her whole person. Chapman is a powerful, driven woman who has made a name for herself in the fashion industry, specifically in co-founding her luxury brand Marchesa. 

Pictured: The Judges and Host of Project Runway All Stars​ (Image Courtesy of Threads Magazine)

She has had an impressive career overall, with a respectable net worth of $20 million. Most recently (since 2012), she has been judging on Project Runway’s spin-off, Project Runway All Stars, well-deserved based on the success of her own brand and as a designer.

Pictured: Marchesa’s Spring 2017 RTW (Image Courtesy of Vogue)

Chapman started off her career as a costume designer after graduating from Wimbledon School of Art in 2001, where she met the future co-founder of Marchesa, Karen Craig. Named for the Italian socialite Marchesa Luisa Casati, Marchesa was founded in 2004 as a luxury eveningwear brand: “People thought we were crazy. They said no one does evening anymore, which only encouraged us to do it more” (Source).

The initial opportunity to create Marchesa had to do with both talent and luck. At an event, Chapman happened to be seated next to the late Isabella Blow, a famed fashion editor and consultant. Chapman was wearing one of her own designs, and Blow asked if she could wear it herself. Chapman then went to Paris’s Fashion Week and fit Blow in a Chapman original. With that opportunity and dressing Blow, Chapman was able to make invaluable industry connections like the Swarovski family that allowed her brand to flourish.

Pictured: Blake Lively wearing Marchesa in 2011 (Image Courtesy of People)

The designs are a perfect mix of elegant and feminine that celebrities and the public alike find enticing, having been worn by stars like Blake Lively, Beyoncé, Octavia Spencer, Jennifer Lopez, and many more.

Pictured: Chapman with daughter India (Image Courtesy of Vogue)

Chapman has also had two kids, and has found herself hearing some of the same things that career women always seem to when they decide to have children—that you can’t have both. “I was seated next to an artist at an event who told me artists aren’t supposed to have children because it affects their creative output and energy,” said Chapman after having her child, India. Rather than letting these words get to her, Chapman found herself inspired by her children, commenting on how her daughter actually was the reason behind her collection at the time being so soft and romantic.

Image Courtesy of Instagram

Unfortunately, the alarming Weinstein accusations are affecting more than Chapman’s personal life, which is certainly already in a painful situation. It appears that it is already creating consequences for Chapman’s business as well, as one of Marchesa’s most recent partnerships has been dissolved due to the scandal. Helzberg Diamonds confirmed that they were no longer associating with the Marchesa brand the same day the accusations came to light. They still decided to launch a line of engagement rings they had previously planned to, just without Marchesa’s partnership. Instead of calling the line “Marchesa Radiant Star,” as they called it on their Instagram, the jeweler’s products were only listed under “Radiant Star.” As of today, the entire line has been completely removed from their website.

Image Courtesy of Helzberg Diamonds

It is troubling that Weinstein’s actions, no matter how repulsive or reprehensible, would have an effect on Chapman’s own business. While the Marchesa brand has had associations with the Weinstein Company and the actresses in its movies, both Chapman and the Weinstein Company have made clear that they do not support or stand behind what Weinstein has done, demonstrated both by Chapman’s aforementioned statement and the decision by the Weinstein Company to fire Weinstein.

Chapman has worked hard to cultivate a successful brand and name for herself. She will have a difficult journey ahead of her, and it should not be made more difficult by punishing her or her business for her husband’s wrongdoing. Her beautiful and romantic dresses have brought nothing but exuberance to the red carpet and to evening wear in general, and hopefully they will be able to continue on doing so. We stand behind the women who have been victims of Weinstein’s sexual harassment and abuse, and behind Chapman, who does not need to become a victim of this man’s actions as well.

Cover Image Courtesy of Business Insider

Her Campus Drexel contributor.