NEW YORK — With Sarah Jessica Parker on her way out atHalston and Harvey Weinstein said to be following suit, what is next forthis storied but challenged American fashion house?
Industryinsiders were wondering just that after it emerged on Wednesday thatParker and Weinstein were about to end their association with Halston —marking yet another chapter in the brand’s checkered history that hasbeen through more revival attempts and designers than most people careto remember.
In the most recent iteration, Hilco Consumer Capitaland Weinstein Co. acquired the brand with much fanfare in 2007, andtapped Parker as president and chief creative officer in January 2010 tosteer the secondary Halston Heritage line (Marios Schwab spearheads themain designer collection). Parker’s deal included a seat on Halston’sboard as well as an equity stake in the brand, though the size of thestake was never disclosed.
The actress is said to be entitled toroughly $13 million over the next four years under her currentagreement. At press time, it remained unclear whether Hilco was lookingto buy out Weinstein and Parker. Richard Kaye, executive vice presidentand chief marketing officer at Hilco Trading, Hilco Consumer Capital’sparent company, declined comment.
As reported in April, Hilco waslooking for additional investment or to potentially sell Halston.According to one source, there were at least three bidders for thecompany including Max Azria, but Halston is now said to be pursuing alicensing model instead. The departure of Parker and Weinstein — bothhigh-profile personalities with no experience in running a fashionlicensing business — could clear the path for this.
The news ofParker’s exit from Halston Heritage first appeared in a feature on herin the August issue of Vogue.
The two high-profile departuresspotlight the complicated realities of celebrities’ ongoing fascinationwith fashion and the common misperception that a fashionable Hollywoodpersonality naturally makes a good designer or, in Parker’s case, acapable president of a fashion label set for revival.
Weinsteinand Parker are just two of several executives who have joined andsubsequently left Halston under the current ownership. Halston chiefexecutive officer Bonnie Takhar also left the company and, recently,there has been some speculation that the firm may not renew its contractwith Schwab unless he relocates from London, where he designs his own,namesake line, to New York, where Halston is based.
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