After Monday’s Met Gala, rumors began circulating that a revival of the fashion house Charles James was on the horizon. As the focus of this year’s exhibition, Charles James: Beyond Fashion (opening May 8), the designs of the British- born, American couturier seem to have caught the eye of Harvey Weinstein and wife Georgina Chapman. Announced yesterday, Weinstein will be rebooting the legendary brand, positioning his wife, a designer at Marchesa, as well as her brother, Marchesa CEO Edward Chapman, as the brand’s creative consultants. Nepotism aside, Weinstein did secure a deal with James’ children, Charles Jr. and Louise James, described as “a license with an option to buy.”
“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," Weinstein said 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.”
Previously dipping into the fashion world with an attempt to bring back Halston in 2007, he (as well as enlisted celebrities Sarah Jessica Parker, Marios Schwab, and Rachel Zoe) had to eventually cut ties with the fledgling brand in 2011. For this second venture to succeed, James’ distinct vision and style must be honored, and all designs going forward must capture his aesthetic, which may prove easier due to partnering with James’ descendants. While there’s no word yet on whether or not this collection will consist of an added mix of ready-to-wear or stay exclusively couture, we’re hoping that Weinstein and family will appreciate the history and influence of James’ work and will recapture the beauty of the design house out of respect rather than dollar signs.