The Question of Galliano

By now, you probably have heard about John Galliano's suspension and later dismissal from his post as the Creative Director of Christian Dior following his drunken verbal assault of a couple at a Parisian cafe that included several anti-Semitic remarks. You may have even seen the video capturing the rant or read about Natalie Portman's - the face of Christian Dior's perfume - denouncement and disassociation with the designer.

Given Galliano's role as a main force behind the global brand, his dismissal is not a cut and dry issue. There are several questions that many in the fashion world have trouble grappling with, such as:
  • Who will replace him? How will Christian Dior's future change because of the loss of the creative director?
  • Should Galliano have been fired sooner? Were his anti-Semitic views already known by the brand and was he only fired now because they went public?
  • Considering that Galliano was in a seemingly drunken stupor, is he really anti-Semitic or was he just really, really drunk? Did his inebriation prevent him from filtering what he was saying, which would otherwise not have been uttered? Does he perhaps, as Suzy Menkes now believes, have a drinking problem and should even go into rehab?
  • Is it fair for Galliano to lose a position he has worked so hard for and did so well because he said something really awful when he was not in his work role? If he were a nobody, would he have lost his job for such an attack? (Would the verbal attack have even been reported or gotten its way back to his employers?)
  • Is it fair for Galliano to lose his position for one major slip-up completely unrelated to his role as the creative director? Does he deserve to be shunned and possibly blacklisted in the industry for years to come?
BARE readers, what you think about the Question of Galliano? How are you dealing with it?

Brittany Curran
Blog Editor


  1. part of the role of the designer of a major fashion label is to be the face of the brand. galliano has never been one to hid behind the label, he is very extravagant with the presentation of both himself and his collections. it is his job to be aware of his surroundings, to be the face/voice of the company, and to not offend the world, let alone his target customer, while doing so. i don't care what galliano does in his own time or what he thinks but this is 2011 and it is VERY likely that SOMEONE around you has a camera or a camera phone. he is a creative genius but his words/actions/thoughts are inappropriate and offensive to a huge chunk of the population. i am glad that dior is owned by people who immediately recognized the PR disaster that galliano has created around himself, and nearly dior.

    do i agree with galliano's "views"? absolutely not. do i think we NEED to agree? no! but as a potential customer, i don't want to support a person who feels so strongly against someone of my background. take some time off, JG, you deserve it.

  2. First of all, "in vino veritas."

    Second of all, the CEO of dior is jewish. So, this "slip up" is pretty relevant to galliano's job, in so far as he insulted the person who controls whether or not he has a job.

    Third, in regards to your question "Does he deserve to be shunned and possibly blacklisted in the industry for years to come?":

    Even if he was solely blacklisted by the jews in the fashion industry, he'd basically be blacklisted by the entire industry, considering they control a lot of the most important brands and companies. Looking at this from a purely economic point of view, it would be a very bad decision to keep Galliano because many stores, people, buyers, etc will not want to be associated with him.

  3. He is digusting

  4. The anti-Semitic comments made by John Galliano are inexcusable. The spoken word is an extremely powerful thing, and when wielded by a world-renowned designer like Galliano, can have many unwanted repercussions. Ultimately, I believe the company took the right course of action in dismissing Galliano.

    That being said, the frenzy and speculation surrounding Galliano's affairs reflects, to me, a much more disturbing phenomenon, namely the public's fascination with celebrities and their downfalls. Already there are rumors of who will replace him, and although these are inevitable, it hardly seems right to treat these (flesh and blood) designers like old pairs of shoes that can just be swapped for something new and shiny. Galliano is unmatched in both technical skill and creativity, and instead of trying to figure out who should replace him (and no one really can), we should be focusing more of our attentions on what aspects of this crazy fashion industry made him crack. Maybe by addressing some of these issues, we can avoid future scandals that take away fashion's best and brightest.