WWD reports Harvey Weinstein and Marios Schwab are out at Halston, following news earlier this week that Sarah Jessica Parker was also exiting the company. (Former CEO Bonnie Takhar, who was part of the Parker/Weinstein group, left late last year.)
Weinstein's time at the once-glossy label was doomed from the start. The movie producer came in with very little money; his co-owners, Hilco, were the cash and he was the name. What's more, Weinstein brought on (expensive) friends like Rachel Zoe and Tamara Mellon to consult. While they seemed like the perfect fit--both love sexy '70s style-no one involved has been strategically gifted enough to truly revive the brand, which hasn't really been a big part of mainstream high-fashion since the mid-70s.
London-based designer Schwab, while incredibly talented, probably felt too much pressure to conform to the "Halston look," much like predecessors Randolph Duke, Craig Natiello, Piyawat, Marco Zanini...the list goes on.
Despite all the internal changes, sources tell WWD that Hilco doesn't plan on selling. (Sales are getting better--and Halston Heritage, which requires virtually no design talent since the patterns are based on old silhouettes--is performing well.) We did get a really strange tip yesterday suggesting that "brand" Manner of Man wanted to buy the label and bring on John Galliano as the designer. Since we've never heard Manner of Man, we're going to assume that it's a load of bull.
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.) Unless they let someone totally change the branding--i.e. Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy--it's never going to pan out. We say: Keep Halston Heritage going, make some money, and revive the ready-to-wear when it actually makes sense.