Since Marchesa launched in 2004, it has thrived as a red-carpet favorite and lifestyle brand, inclusive of evening wear, a bridal line and jewelry. Co-founders Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman added yet another category of high-end wares to the label when they debuted shoes for spring ’16.
But before Chapman found success behind her luxe line, she was 25 years old and still honing her craft, and Marchesa was only a notion on her radar.
“I was designing — beginning to start the idea of Marchesa, Keren [Craig] and I, we were living in London at the time,” the 40-year-old told Footwear News on Friday at Variety’s Power of Women ceremony. “I was doing costumes for some stage productions and pop video costumes. The moment things changed is when I enlisted the help of [publicist] Nanci Ryder from BWR to help us in Los Angeles to connect with actresses out there. She partnered us with Renee Zellweger, and she liked what we did — and that was the moment that changed everything.”
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Chapman was among the honorees at Variety’s event that recognized Hollywood’s most philanthropic and inspirational women. The designer was presented with the Moroccanoil Inspiration to Action Award for her work with Magic Bus, a charity dedicated to gender equality and providing education, leadership and mentorship for youths in India from childhood to adulthood.
“I wanted to find a way to impact the embroidery communities that have helped me build Marchesa and fulfill my dreams,” Chapman said while accepting the award.
The Hollywood heavy hitters who were also recognized for supporting social causes included director Ava DuVernay, actresses Laverne Cox, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Sir Lucian Grainge, Spanx founder Sara Blakely, and pop star Miley Cyrus.