Galliano. 'Seeking help'
Photo: AP

Galliano regrets anti-Semitic slurs

(Video) Disgraced designer apologizes 'unreservedly' for behavior that cost him job at luxury label Christian Dior, says racism 'has no place in our society'

VIDEO - Disgraced designer John Galliano apologized "unreservedly" on Wednesday for behavior which has cost him his job at luxury label Christian Dior and changed his fortunes overnight from fashion star to figure of ridicule.


Dior said on Wednesday it intended to go ahead with its Friday ready-to-wear show one day after it fired Galliano for his "odious" behavior on a widely viewed video showing its former chief designer spewing anti-Semitic insults and expressing his admiration for Adolf Hitler.


Galliano, who had been with Dior since 1996, said in a statement that "anti-Semitism and racism have no part in our society. I unreservedly apologize for my behavior in causing any offense."


He said he was "seeking help" for his personal failures, without elaborating.


The fallen star is expected to hear by the end of the week whether Paris prosecutors will put him on trial for uttering anti-Semitic insults after complaints he hurled racist abuse at people in a Paris bar last Thursday and in October.



It is uncertain when the video was taken.


In the statement Wednesday, Galliano said "I completely deny the claims made against me and have fully cooperated with the police investigation" into the initial café case.


But he said he fully accepts "that the accusations made against me have greatly shocked and upset people."


"I only have myself to blame and I know that I must face up to my own failures," he said. "In all my work my inspiration has been to unite people of every race, creed, religion and sexuality by celebrating their cultural and ethnic diversity through fashion. That remains my guiding light."


Show must go on

Dior said it would go on with Galliano's autumn-winter 2011 collection for the fashion house, a highlight of Paris Fashion Week which helps buyers decide orders and is crucial for the brand's image.


However, industry watchers said they were not looking forward to the awkwardness of having to applaud the creations of a designer who could face trial for racist slurs.


"The show is being maintained," a Dior spokeswoman told Reuters. "The invitations have been sent out and the seating has been done as usual. No one has informed us they are not planning to come."


However, it was not clear whether the fashion show of John Galliano's own label would go ahead as planned on Sunday and the designer's ousting raised questions about the future of his own fashion house, which is 90% owned by Christian Dior.


"We are asking ourselves questions," one person close to the brand said, declining to be named. The John Galliano press office decline to comment.


The saga has cast a pall over Paris Fashion Week – a bi-annual event for ready-to-wear that draws thousands of fashionistas and critics from around the world, costs millions of euros and sets the year's trends across the industry.


"As far as the show is concerned this is slightly awkward," said Bernstein luxury goods analyst Luca Solca.


"In the end, I believe they will decide to separate the artist from the man, and go on with the show – also out of respect for the many other people that worked on it."



Dior is one France's top fashion brands and is part of LVMH, the world's biggest luxury goods group.


Dior shares were down 1.34% at 103.25 euros and LVMH were down 1.99% at 113 euros in a weaker Paris market.


Chief Executive Sidney Toledano said on Tuesday the "odious nature" of Galliano's behavior on the video led Dior to relieve him of his duties after 15 years as the label's chief designer.


"It is very sad for this to happen during fashion week. The only thing people will talk about is Galliano, when they are supposed to be focusing on the fashion," Susan Tabak, who runs a luxury lifestyle website, told Reuters.


Ready-to-wear catwalks are more crucial in terms of orders than the industry's more exclusive haute couture shows. Axing Galliano's show would seriously disrupt Dior's operations as it could lose revenues from an entire collection.


Dior's fashion show is usually attended by Bernard Arnault, the founder and chief executive Dior's daughter company LVMH.


A string of celebrities, including Oscar-winning French actress Marion Cotillard, would normally be in the front row, but some may now feel uncomfortable being present.


Actress Natalie Portman, who has a deal to promote Miss Dior Cherie perfume, voiced her disgust with Galliano late on Monday in New York and said she wanted nothing more to do with him.


In Milan late on Tuesday, Donatella Versace told fashion reporters there was no justification for the insults but she doubted Galliano had meant to be racist.


Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 03.02.11, 19:52
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