Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig of Marchesa
July 15, 2015
Not always do we see two women entrepreneurs at the head of a fashion brand. Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig have led the evening collection Marchesa and their sister line Marchesa Notte since 2004. The brand name is attributed to the late Italian Marchesa Luisa Casati, who was famous for her eccentricity and for being a patron of arts in the early 1900s. If you love to watch live red carpet events, you’ve surely swooned over a Marchesa-embellished evening gown. In my mind, Sienna Miller’s layered champagne minidress with a draped rose from back in 2006 and Heilee Steinfeld Oscar’s dress in 2011 remain my ultimate favorite pieces from the label, but the list goes on. Earlier this February, Chapman and Kraig did it again when they presented the Fall 2015 collection at New York’s St. Regis Hotel. Who better than two stunningly chic and business-savvy women to dress fellow women for the most glamorous moments in life? Here, we speak about their day-to-day partnership, their ’20s-inspired fall collection and what is worth making noise about in this world.
NM: Tell us about your Fall 2015 collection.
GC: The Fall/Winter 2015 collection is inspired by the haze of an opium dream: billowing smoke, sumptuous fabrics and rich jewel tones. Keren and I wanted to convey a sense of mystery and vintage glamour.
KC: The collection has a 1920s influence, harkening back to the indulgence and carefree attitude of the time. This decadent romance easily lends itself deep V-necks, beaded fringe and sheer fabrics.
NM: How have your designs evolved since Marchesa’s conception?
KC: We do not focus on trends when designing for Marchesa; instead we look for new ways to bring our signature romantic and feminine vision to life each season. The brand evolves each season according to our inspiration for that collection, but we always stay true to our aesthetic.
GC: Something I am really excited about is that we are creating more separates and jumpsuits for evening. Customers are realizing they can feel just as glamorous in a beautiful pant as they do in a gown. It’s interesting as a designer to think of new takes on eveningwear.
NM: Describe what it’s like working so closely as a team with another woman.
GC: We’ve been best friends since university and work very closely together throughout the entire design process. I conceptualize the collection and focus on the silhouettes, whereas Keren’s background is in textiles, so she designs all of the embroideries.
KC: I am very lucky that I get to work with my best friend every day; I don’t think that many people can say that! We never come across creative differences as we have very similar design aesthetics and our design specialties complement each other in the best ways.
NM: What do you feel is important to make noise about in today’s world?
GC: I am very much involved with Magic Bus, Asia’s largest mentoring organization, which trains and guides over 8,000 youth mentors and delivers programs to 250,000 children in 21 states across India every week. My program focuses on families working in the fabric and textile businesses. With Magic Bus, we can directly reach out to the children of those families.
KC: We are also working with Make a Wish, helping to grant wishes to children with life-threatening conditions. Georgina and I are lucky enough to be living our dreams every day, and it’s wonderful to be able to help a child do the same. As a mother, it’s heartbreaking to imagine what these families are going through. If there is anything we can do to brighten a family’s day, Georgina and I are honored to be able to help.