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Having dressed the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Anne Hathaway for the red carpet, Marchesa creative director and co-founder Georgina Chapman understands that every evening look calls for equally glamorous jewels. So Chapman is taking the jewels into her own hands by joining Garrard as a guest designer.
This story first appeared in the October 20, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Georgina Chapman for Garrard collection will be unveiled next September during New York Fashion Week.
“I’ve always had an interest in jewelry,” said Chapman. “I have a few pieces of jewelry, but I’m by no means Elizabeth Taylor.”
Growing up in England, Chapman naturally had some curiosity about the 286-year-old London jeweler, which supplied the Princess of Wales’ engagement ring.
“As an English brand, it’s exciting for me,” she said, noting that not only has she been studying jewelry books, but is also taking advice from her husband, Harvey Weinstein, whose father was a diamond cutter. “Jewelry is so interesting because, like fashion, it has a history. People have long been ornamenting their bodies.”
Chapman also plans to delve into the company’s archives for inspiration.
Although she declined to offer details about the look, Garrard president and chief executive officer Terri Eagle said prices would be parallel to the company’s Collection pieces, which average $10,000 to $15,000. Garrard’s bespoke pieces, which feature rare stones and limited edition designs, sell well into the millions of dollars. The line will be sold in Garrard stores. In the U.S., the company has a private salon in New York’s SoHo neighborhood and a Beverly Hills boutique. There are plans to open a New York flagship within the next two years. Garrard and Stephen Webster, which Eagle also runs, are owned by a newly formed holding company related to Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos.
Chapman is Garrard’s first guest designer. The company is still seeking a creative director to replace Jade Jagger, who left in June 2007.
“We felt that her aesthetic as a designer is one that we relate to in our brand,” said Eagle of Chapman. “We’re looking to appeal to women of a diverse age group.”
While Jagger’s collections, which featured diamond, flecked gun and record pendants, garnered much attention from fashion magazines, the collection was criticized by some for veering too far off Garrard’s traditional path. This is Eagle’s first strategy move since taking her post in April.
Eagle said it is too early to offer sales projections, but anticipates Chapman’s line to be a significant part of the Garrard business.