They said/We said: And the outs keep coming. Harvey Weinstein and Marios Schwab are both leaving Halston
When we reported that Sarah Jessica Parker was exiting Halston earlier this week, we definitely didn’t expect two of the label’s other big names to follow suit in a matter of days. For what seems like the thousandth time in the past few years, Halston is about to undergo another round of drastic changes, as investor Harvey Weinstein and ready-to-wear designer Marios Schwab are also on their way out.
Reports began circulating yesterday that Weinstein, one of Halston’s main investors, would be withdrawing his support and ending his involvement with the company. The exits didn’t stop there, though, as today it was announced that designer Marios Schwab will not return for another season. In fact, the company’s only remaining investor, Hilco, may be pulling the plug on Halston’s ready-to-wear collection altogether, as the line will be put on hiatus for Spring 2012 and fall pieces may not ever hit stores. It seems their new strategy is to focus on the more affordable diffusion line and to abandon ship on the luxury market. Curious choice, since we all know that attempting to go mainstream marked the end of the original Halston’s success.
Although it’s clear that Schwab is a talented designer in his own right, we can’t exactly say we’re surprised about the failure of his designs at Halston. Perhaps it was due to pressure from the big bosses, but the three collections he showed were pretty safe and relied too much on the label’s history. Without innovation and a new perspective (think Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga), a heritage line runs the risk of feeling outdated and irrelevant.
WHAT THEY SAID…
Kevan Hall, former Halston designer: “You’ve got this incredible iconic brand that fashion people remember—the brand DNA is strong. It’s just a question of whose hands it’s in, who’s the design director, and who’s in place managing the brand.” [The Daily Beast]
Lauren Sherman, Fashionista: “We just wish Hilco—and everyone else—would leave poor Halston alone. It hasn’t worked because, truthfully, Halston only worked for a very, very specific time and place. (No matter what ALT says, Halston wasn’t YSL.)” [Fashionista]
Justin Fenner, Styleite: “Halston is going to have to find a talented designer, and find one quickly, in order to keep its business afloat. But one more round of exits like this one, and you can be sure the brand’s name will stay in the news.” [Styleite]
WHAT WE SAID…
Randi Bergman, online editor: “Roy Halston would be rolling in his velvet-lined coffin right now if he knew what a mess was being made of his name. Halston seems to be the only label that time and time again has suffered from its team’s lack of foresight. Just because Halston’s aesthetic was synonymous with the ’70s doesn’t mean that’s all it’s good for. After all, is Balenciaga still based in the bubble skirt? Dior in the New Look? As far as I’m concerned, megawatt glamour and simple silhouettes are not impossible points to jump off from.”