With Monday night's Met Gala theme centered on American couturier Charles James, there was undoubtedly much buzz surrounding the designer's life and career. The reintroduction of James has sparked so much interest that media mogul Harvey Weinstein's film studio, The Weinstein Company, has worked out a deal with the British-American designer's family to revitalize the brand.
The Weinstein Co. has confirmed with Pret-a-Reporter that Weinstein has agreed to license, with an option to buy, fashion brand Charles James from the designer's estate. Weinstein's wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, and her brother, Marchesa CEO Edward Chapman, will serve as the label's creative consultants. Page Six first reported the news on Monday.
"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," said Weinstein in a statement. "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."
Chapman added: "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."
James' designs are currently on display at the Met Museum's newly renovated Anna Wintour Costume Center from May 8 to Aug. 10. TWC is working closely with The Met and is in talks to bring the exhibition to other major cities.
It's clear Weinstein has a strong interest in fashion, given that The Weinstein Company acquired U.S. rights to French director Jalil Lespert's biopic of famed designer Yves Saint Laurent last March. And, well, he did marry a fashion designer, after all.
In 2007, Weinstein bought Halston, known for its sexy '70s style, with Sarah Jessica Parker in hopes of relaunching the brand. Despite having London designer Marios Schwab as the fashion label's creative director and Rachel Zoe and Tamara Mellon as consultants, it wasn't enough to resurrect the label founded by American fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick. Weinstein and Parker departed from the company in 2011.
Given that this will be Weinstein's second attempt at relaunching a fashion house -- one that isn't necessarily widely recognized outside the style community, mind you -- it will be interesting to see how the film producer will bring couture gowns back on the U.S. market.