April 15th, 2011
WWD reports that the board of the 17-year-old John Galliano label, 91 percent of which is owned by Christian Dior, met recently and decided to fire the British designer. There are also reports that the company has received unsolicited offers to buy the label from “interested parties” in Italy, China and the Middle East. Sale of the company is understood not to be “an immediate priority.”
Last month, Galliano came under a firestorm of media scrutiny after it was reported that he’d drunkenly harassed a couple outside of a bar in Paris, using anti-Semitic slurs to insult them. After video of Galliano using similar slurs on a separate occasion surfaced, executives at LVMH, which owns Dior, promptly began to terminate his employment. In addition to being embarrassing and shocking, Galliano’s comments ran afoul of LVMH’s zero-tolerance policy for racism and anti-Semitism.
But after Galliano apologized and pledged he’d get help, he was still technically employed with his own label. The Dior runway show he’d prepared for Paris Fashion Week went on without him as he fled to a rehabilitation clinic in Arizona called The Meadows. The show for John Galliano was scaled back to a private presentation.
Until another decision is made about the future of the Galliano label, its design team (some of whom are also employed by Dior) is working on a pre-spring collection. Whether or not his absence from the house will make retailers feel good about stocking products bearing his name remains to be seen.
Galliano the man, however, still faces charges of public insult, for which he will have to stand trial. If he’s convicted, he faces five months in prison or a fine of €22,500, about $32,530.50.