John Galliano - The Rise And Fall Of A Legendary Designer

In 2011, after 15 years of collaboration, the House of Dior fired stylist John Galliano. But why did Christian Dior, one of the iconic brands of international fashion, decide to take such a drastic measure against its star designer, the excessive, histrionic and influential Galliano?

The reason: the "odious" nature of his statements recorded by mobile phone in the Parisian bar Le Marais and broadcast by the British newspaper The Sun.

John Galliano was drunk and insulted two girls at another table, telling them among other things: "I love Hitler (...)," notes El Pais newspaper in an editorial.

John Galliano Became An Outlaw In The World Of Fashion

At that time, Dior Couture chairman Sidney Toledano strongly condemned the designer's statements, which are in direct opposition to the core values the company has always promoted, and announced John Galliano's dismissal.

Dior thus closed a page opened in 1996, when Bernard Arnault, chairman of the LVMH group - the world's leading luxury brand to which Dior belongs - put the 36-year-old avant-garde stylist John Galliano, who used to dazzle with his collections, in charge of the women's division.
John Galliano Designer
The pictures released by the British newspaper have brought the stylist down for good after a couple reported him for racist slurs in the same bar.

After a suspension during the investigation, the House of Dior, faced with the scale of the scandal and the worldwide reactions it has provoked, including that of Israeli-born actress Natalie Portman, has taken the expected decision.

Who Was John Galliano?

John Galliano, born in Gibraltar 61 years ago to a reporter-turned-plumber father and a mother fascinated by fashion, moved with his family to London at the age of six. Here he changed his first name from Juan Carlos to John.

The young John Galliano graduated from Saint Martins School in London and got his degree with a collection inspired by the French Revolution. In 1995 he was hired by the aristocratic firm Givenchy when he was forced to ditch the dreadlocked hairstyle and dress in a suit and tie. A year later he was co-opted by Dior without losing his style and boldness.

Equally loathed and admired, John Galliano gave his collections a baroque and histrionic air that was welcomed by the media. He also made a circus act out of the gesture of coming out at the end of the parade. The gesture was profitable, it attracted a large number of customers, especially from Russia and China, but it did not fit in with the sober image of French elegance.

Pierre Berge, Yves Saint-Laurent's business partner, commented: "I don't like designers who feel the need to create a character. I've known Balenciaga, Coco Chanel, and Saint Laurent. None of them needed a character, their creations were enough".

French media commented that Galliano had been going through a dark period prior to the incident in the bar, mired in deep depression and a victim of recurrent addictions, including alcohol and dieting. Culminating in the death of his collaborator, Steven Robinson, in 2007 from a heart attack.

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