May 11, 2018
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Marchesa's Chapman breaks silence after first post-scandal red carpet credit for label

May 11, 2018

Marchesa co-founder Georgina Chapman has broken her silence for the first time since the scandal erupted around her husband and financial backer Harvey Weinstein. Her interview with US Vogue is a second step in the brand’s rehabilitation, the first step having been the first red carpet appearance for many months of a Marchesa dress with Scarlett Johansson wearing the label at the Met Gala.

Scarlett Johansson's Met Gala dress was Marchesa's first red carpet appearance for months - Marchesa

The British fashion designer has kept a low profile since revelations about Weinstein broke and she split from her husband. But work on Marchesa collections has continued, despite the cancellation of the label’s runway show last fashion month.

In the June issue of Vogue, Chapman said she never suspected her husband of the assaults of which he has been accused and had thought she had a happy marriage.

The 42 year-old, who runs Marchesa with fellow Briton Keren Craig, said the revelations saw her “humiliated and so broken” and that the issue is still "very very raw”. She has also seen a therapist and said that she feels she was “so naive” and is left with “moments of rage, confusion, [and] disbelief.”

Interviewer Jonathan van Meter said she broke into floods of tears during his time with her and at times seemed “broken”.

But she said: “I don’t want to be viewed as a victim because I don’t think I am. I am a woman in a shit situation, but it’s not unique.”

Chapman said that the brand’s absence from red carpets for most of this year wasn’t down to a boycott, as a number of big names had been in touch and offered to wear Marchesa to show their support. But she said she took the decision not to promote the brand via celebrity appearances until now.

“We didn’t feel it was appropriate given the situation,” she said. “All the women who have been hurt deserve dignity and respect, so I want to give it the time it deserves. It’s a time for mourning, really.”

A number of actresses have said in recent months that they had previously been pressurised into wearing Marchesa at high-profile events by Weinstein.

But Marchesa clearly is battling back from the existential threat the scandal brought with it. The Vogue interviewer described the company’s atelier as busy and during the interview Chapman said that “we couldn’t stop selling” one $13,000 dress last season.

But given that Harvey Weinstein was a major Marchesa backer, funding will clearly be a challenge in the future. Chapman didn’t discuss financing during the interview but did say: “I’m just living moment to moment. Is it difficult? Of course. But one adjusts. Is it going to be for the worse? Maybe not.”

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