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Movie producers Bob and Harvey Weinstein are turning themselves into fashionistas.
The brothers have partnered with investment firm Hilco Consumer Capital to buy the Halston fashion brand, which was favored by the international jet set during the 1960s and '70s.
Their Weinstein Co. studio plans to make a documentary about Roy Halston, the late fashion icon who created the fashion house, and to feature Halston products in its films and on Bravo's reality series Project Runway.
The documentary would compete with a long-delayed and unrelated narrative biopic, SimplyHalston, which is being developed by Killer Films. The indie producer lost a duel involving another gay icon, Truman Capote, when its film Infamous was delayed a year because of Sony Pictures Classics' 2005 release Capote.
While studios and networks frequently plug their sister companies' films and TV shows and integrate advertisers' brands into their content, it is rare for an entertainment company to own a consumer brand and market it through its own content. The Weinstein Co., however, is not the first to make such a move. In 1996, New Regency Prods. acquired an equity stake in Puma AG, and once Regency cut a deal with Fox Filmed Entertainment for distribution and an investment, Puma products were featured in Fox fare.
"We are thrilled to be joining this group of investors and advisers to help reinvent one of the greatest brands in fashion history," Harvey Weinstein said in a statement.
Among the fashion leaders who will help structure management and provide creative direction for Halston--whose designs included Jackie Kennedy's pillbox hats--is Tamara Mellon, founder-president of Jimmy Choo Ltd. A board of directors has been formed, and the investment group is in the process of assembling an advisory board of leading business and fashion figures who will be charged with finding a CEO, lead designer and creative team.
The Halston brand and other assets were acquired from Neema Clothing Ltd., whose founder and principal shareholder is James J. Ammeen. (Gail Schiller and Greg Goldstein, The Hollywood Reporter/Reuters)