Charly “Char” Defrancesco is a candlemaker, former model and the husband of fashion designer Marc Jacobs. The couple met at a party in 2015 and tied the knot four years later.
Defrancesco has a cameo on the new episode of Million Dollar Listing New York premiering on May 20. He meets with Ryan Serhant about selling the Manhattan townhouse he and Jacobs shared before relocating to Westchester County.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Defrancesco Was Born in Switzerland & French Was His First Language
Defrancesco spent much of his childhood growing up in Los Angeles. He told Fashion Week Daily in 2018 that his mother’s side of the family had deep California roots. “My grandma was actually an actress in the golden age [of Hollywood].” Defrancesco said both sides of his family had ancestral roots in Italy.
But Defrancesco said he was actually born in Switzerland. His parents owned a boarding school in Lausanne. The city is in the French-speaking region of Vaud and is located on Lake Geneva. Defrancesco told Fashion Week Daily his first language was French.
Defrancesco moved to Los Angeles when he was three after his parents divorced. But he continued to spend summers and the Christmas holiday back in Switzerland. When recalling what his experience was like in the European country, Defrancesco remarked, “It’s beautiful, but there wasn’t a lot going on.”
2. Defrancesco Worked as a Model, Interior Designer, Closet Organizer & Bartender After Studying Political Science in College
Defrancesco has worn several hats over the course of his professional career. He studied political science as a student at UCLA. But after finishing college, Defrancesco decided to open his own retail store rather than work in politics. Vogue described Defrancesco’s store as a “boutique for hip dads.”
But the store didn’t last for very long; the business lost its intended customer base when the economy crashed. Defrancesco told Fashion Week Daily a friend convinced him to try New York City. Defrancesco said he worked as a model “here and there” for about five years before he returned to Los Angeles. Defrancesco’s Instagram account has several photos from his modeling days. He often modeled underwear.
Defrancesco did a little of everything once he was back on the west coast. The New York Times reported Defrancesco made money as a bartender, a closet organizer and an interior designer.
The closet organizing gig began after Defrancesco rebuilt his own closet and shared photos on social media. Defrancesco said interested clients hired him to remodel their own closets, which grew into an interior design business.
3. He Was Inspired to Make His Own Candles After Realizing He Was Spending Too Much Money on Other Brands
Defrancesco started designing his own candles while living in Los Angeles. He burned through expensive candles quickly. According to W Magazine, Defrancesco said he was actually spending more money on candles than he was on rent.
Defrancesco started experimenting with coconut wax and said it lasted far longer than the other candles he was buying. The hobby grew into a business. He called it “A Bougie Candle by Char Defrancesco. He launched with two scents, called Lit and Bae.
In 2017, Defrancesco officially moved the enterprise to New York. He registered the company as “Get Lit by Char” with the New York Department of State in November 2017, according to online records. He has four scents currently listed on the company’s website: Hype, Rich, Lit and Bae.
4. Jacobs Proposed to Defrancesco With a Flash Mob at a Chipotle Restaurant
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Defrancesco and Jacobs made their romantic relationship public in 2016. They traveled the world together, which included several trips to Paris and St. Barths, as W Magazine noted. Defrancesco’s Instagram account includes several photos next to what appear to be private planes.
After more than two years of dating, Jacobs proposed to Defrancesco in April 2018. He staged a flash mob inside a Chipotle restaurant. The footage shared on Instagram shows Jacobs and Defrancesco watching the dancers perform to Prince’s 1986 song “Kiss.” It then cuts to Jacobs dropping to one knee and presenting Defrancesco with a ring.
Chipotle had special meaning for the couple. Defrancesco told People in 2018 that he took Jacobs to Chipotle for the first time and they always went on Defrancesco’s birthday. “[Jacobs] always tries to take me somewhere fancier and we have fancy dinners all the time, but I want Chipotle,” Defrancesco said. “Moving to New York, being from L.A., I’ve always loved Mexican food, it’s my favorite and it’s kinda like a little piece of home even though it’s not authentic Mexican food. It’s consistent and tastes like Chipotle, no matter what Chipotle you go to.”
5. Defrancesco & Jacobs Celebrated Their Wedding With 700 Guests
Jacobs said in part, “It is a privilege to be with you and have you in my life and I promise that I will never take you for granted.” Defrancesco responded in part, “Marc, never in my life would I have ever imagined a happy ending for myself and then you came along I was so amazed and am so humbled that such a remarkable and brilliant man would want to love and be with just a regular guy like me.”
A lavish celebration followed the ceremony. The New York Times reported the guest list had about 700 people on it, including stars Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Bette Midler, Anna Wintour, Lil’ Kim and Bella Hadid. The party took place at the Grill Room in midtown Manhattan, People reported.