Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, said Saturday that John Galliano would not be working again for any of the luxury group’s brands, including the Galliano label. Mr. Arnault disputed comments made Friday that there had been informal conversations among LVMH executives about the feasibility of Mr. Galliano’s returning to his label at some point and what the media and public reaction might be.
“He will not be working for LVMH,” Mr. Arnault said after the Dior Homme show in Paris. Mr. Arnault added that after Mr. Galliano’s arrest and dismissal from Dior for anti-Semitic statements, “he didn’t have the simple politeness to contact me.”
Meanwhile, the Galliano company announced that Bill Gaytten, a longtime member of its design team, would become creative director of Galliano. Mr. Gaytten, who is also part of the Dior studio, oversaw the spring men’s collection, presented on Friday night, and took the bow on the runway.
On Thursday, Mr. Galliano told a Paris court that he had addictions to alcohol and prescription drugs and that he could not remember making racial insults this past February to a couple in a Paris cafe.
Sidney Toledano, the chief executive of Dior, attended the men’s show with Mr. Arnault. When asked if he had been concerned in recent years that Mr. Galliano’s dependency, along with absences from work, might pose a problem for the company, Mr. Toledano replied: “There were concerns, and we warned him officially. I’ve talked to the lawyers for years.”
Mr. Galliano’s collections in the last few years have received mixed reviews. Certainly among journalists there was a sense that his involvement with a collection — ready-to-wear or couture — could be limited. He was well surrounded by design assistants. It also may be that he had periods when he was sufficiently productive and in control, or was able to convince Mr. Toledano and Mr. Arnault that he was, so that things continued as they were. He was present for his theatrical runway bows and the greetings and interviews backstage.
Clearly, if Mr. Galliano wants to rehabilitate his career, he will have to do it someplace else. [NY Times] by Cathy Horyn