The talented and controversial designer is being given a second chance after his racist and anti-Semitic remarks found him ousted from both Christian Dior and his signature fashion house in 2011. Now with a new title, he’s slated to return with an appointment at French fashion house Maison Martin Margiela.
After spending the past few years out of the spotlight, 53-year-old British designer John Galliano is ready to make his comeback as creative director of Maison Martin Margiela. His duties include taking over design leadership of all Margiela lines, (including the couture collection, women’s and men’s ready-to wear), and he will make his debut at the French fashion house in January 2015 during Paris Couture Week. While there’s no denying the fact that Galliano is insanely talented, the news is also quite controversial as it is his first position since his downfall, when a belligerent Galliano verbally attacked customers with racist and anti-Semitic remarks in a Paris cafe.
John Galliano — Maison Martin Margiela Creative Director Role Marks His Return To Fashion:
The news broke on Oct. 6. “Margiela is ready for a new charismatic creative soul,” said Renzo Rosso, president of OTB, said in a statement. “John Galliano is one of the greatest, undisputed talents of all time — a unique, exceptional couturier for a maison that always challenged and innovated the world of fashion. I look forward to his return to create that fashion dream that only he can create, and wish him to here find his new home.”
John Galliano’s Racist Rant & Downfall:
After video of Galliano verbally attacking fellow customers at a cafe in Paris went viral, the designer was fired from Dior, (where he served as creative director for 15 years). He spent the next couple of years dealing with his substance abuse issues. Although he was out of the spotlight he did briefly emerge for various projects. For example in 2011, (the very same year of his rant), his friend, model Kate Moss, enlisted the designer to craft her wedding dress. In 2013, he assisted Oscar de la Renta with a collection, while in May 2014 he became creative director of Russian perfume brand L’Etoile.
The fashion world loves a comeback story, so it isn’t surprising to see that the news is being well-received — especially since the designer was so open about the demons he was dealing with that led to his unacceptable behavior. In 2013 he achieved two years of sobriety and opened up about how rehab saved his life in his first interview since his fall from grace, which ran in Vanity Fair.
John Galliano is known for his feminine couture creations and his affinity for bias-cut gowns, so it will be interesting to see how he interpets the brand’s more avant-garde aesthetic.
What do you think? Are you happy that the designer is being offered a second chance?