The new Netflix miniseries Halston might be adapted from the book Simply Halston by Steven Gaines, but it's based on the real-life of fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick, who rose to popularity in the 1970s. Halston's chic designs became all the rage after he was spotted out with famous friends at Studio 54. But since his passing, who owns Halston today? Here's everything we know about the designer.
Who owns Halston today? The designer's work passed through several familiar companies' hands.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Halston rose to popularity, and his designs included everything from Jackie O. Kennedy's famous pillbox inauguration hat to the official uniforms for Braniff International Airways and the U.S. Olympic team in 1976. In 1983, he signed a six-year licensing deal with JCPenny for a reported $1 billion.
Many high-end designers were upset with this move, who felt that it "cheapened" his typically exclusive fashions by being produced for the masses. Halston's line for JCPenny, called Halston III, was a line of affordable accessories, perfumes, cosmetics, and clothing. Unfortunately, the line was not a hit and was eventually discontinued. But Halston paved the way for other high-end designers to sell their wares with department stores in the future.
Also, in 1983, Halston Limited was acquired by Esmark, Inc. Halston began to lose control over the company in his name and grew frustrated as it changed hands not once, but four different times. By 1984, he was banned from creating new designs for Halston Enterprises. Halston attempted to buy back his company, but it was eventually purchased by Revlon in 1986.
Halston couldn't make new products for Revlon, but was salaried for the company and continued designing for his famous friends, including Liza Minelli. He was supposed to sign a new contract with Revlon when his first expired, but refused when he learned Revlon planned to continue the line without him regardless. His line remained with Revlon until 1990 when Revlon discontinued the clothing portion of the line but kept the perfumes.
Since 1990 and Halston's death, his clothing line changed hands numerous times up until the present. Revlon still retains the rights to Halston fragrances, but the clothing has been owned at one point by Catteron-Simon, James J. Ammeen, Jimmy Choo, and Tamara Mellon, and a second line called Halston Heritage was developed.
Presently, Halston Heritage is owned by Hilco Consumer Capital. The company has enlisted the help of many popular designers such as Marie Mazelis, the former creative director for Max Azria and Hervé Léger. Another offshoot, H by Halston and H Halston, was sold to the company Xcel in 2015.
While it's clear that Halston's designs are still in high demand, it's also disappointing that someone whose work has appeared on first ladies, professional athletes, and wealthy discotheque attendees was at one point shut out from his work. Halston's legacy lives on in the present day, and hopefully, his family retains a right to input on decisions regarding his brand.
You can watch the miniseries Halston exclusively on Netflix.