The Real Reason Halston Was Fired

The renewed interest in the legendary fashion designer Halston (real name Roy Halston Frowick) can be seen in the success of "Halston," Netflix's 2021 biographical drama starring Ewan McGregor, for which he won an Emmy award, and the 2019 documentary "Halston." Both movies delved into the incredible life story of the famed American mogul and recounted the rise and fall of the man who was once at the forefront of American fashion.

As Bustle reports, Halston enjoyed years of success with his fashion line, dressing the likes of former First Lady Jackie Kennedy, whom many credit for putting Halston on the map. In 1973, his company and creative services were acquired by Norton Simon Inc., which at the time was considered an unprecedented business deal. However, some were critical of Halston's decision to sell the company. "He sold his name, baby," the designer's former colleague, Joe Eula, is quoted as saying in the book "Simply Halston" (via Vanity Fair). 

But what really led to the downfall of the famed designer — and why was Halston eventually fired?

Why was Halston fired from his own company?

In 1983, Halston signed a massive $1 billion deal with JCPenney, which, like the company's previous acquisition, was unheard of back then. Speaking of the six-year deal at the time, Halston said his ultimate goal was to "dress every woman in America." However, shortly after the JCPenney deal, the designer was bought out by Esmark, which many believe was the beginning of the end for Halston (via Bustle). After being bought out, Halston was forced to massively reduce his notoriously excessive budget and regularly got into conflicts with his new colleagues. 

Per L'Officiel, Halston was known for his over-the-top partying and drug use throughout the 1980s, and his lifestyle would often interfere with his work. In 1984, he was fired from his own company due to his behavior. He would later try to buy back his brand, however, his attempts were unsuccessful.

After being banished from his own brand, Halston began a new career in costume design alongside his close friend Liza Minnelli and Martha Graham's dance company.