By  on March 13, 2007

NEW YORK — Harvey Weinstein has bought himself a fashion label fit for a movie.

The Weinstein Co. and Hilco Consumer Capital LLC said Monday that they are buying the Halston brand from Neema Clothing Ltd. and its owner James J. Ammeen. This confirms a page one report in WWD that day. Ammeen will remain an investor in the new Halston Co.

The plan is to rejuvenate the iconic American brand, and the new owners have called on Tamara Mellon, the founder and president of Jimmy Choo Ltd., to help steer the turnaround. Mellon will assist with the creative direction at Halston, as well as put together a brand structure and management.

Weinstein said he was attracted to the brand's illustrious history. "In the motion picture business, you have films that are part of your library," he told WWD. "You make a movie 20 years ago, like 'My Left Foot,' or 'Shakespeare in Love,' and it still exists. It's in the DNA of the brand."

The new Weinstein venture is separate from Marchesa, and designers Georgina Chapman, Weinstein's girlfriend, and Keren Craig will continue to design that line. Marchesa's investors include restaurateur Giuseppe Cipriani and real estate entrepreneur Steven Witkoff, and purportedly Weinstein himself. According to the movie executive, Chapman and her design partner Craig are not selling Marchesa, and though there is interest in the brand from prospective buyers, they would, if anything, only consider selling a small stake. "They're English, like Tamara," Weinstein said. "They are not giving up their independence."

And Weinstein wanted to set the record straight about Chapman specifically. "Georgina has no desire to leave Marchesa at all, which is a brand she does with Keren," he said. "And secondly, she said that I am the last person she would work for."

But Weinstein insisted his interest in fashion predates his involvement with Marchesa. "The idea of a brand came to me long before Marchesa," he said. "When I first raised $1.2 billion in financing for our company, I told everybody that Arnon Milchan had bought a substantial stake in Puma, and that was my inspiration. I said, 'We need to find something we can put our content through.' They sold their shares, built the company and made a substantial profit in helping Puma grow. In Halston, we found that brand that relates to the kind of movies that we make."

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