PARIS – Dior no longer adores John Galliano and has started official procedures to fire the famous designer, a spokesperson for Christian Dior confirmed Tuesday.
The brouhaha over Galliano’s alleged anti-Semitic comments has been the talk of the town in Paris as the city’s Fashion Week kicked off on Tuesday.
Dior hasn’t said it will cancel its runway show on March 5 and still plans to go ahead with Galliano’s personal presentation on March 6.
No word on whether fashion industry moguls or celebs will boycott the events in light of Galliano’s behavior.
Dior President and CEO Sidney Toledano, however, has been outspoken about his sentiments on the matter, telling press in a statement released on Tuesday: “I condemn most firmly the statements made by John Galliano which are a total contradiction with the essential values that have always been defended by the House of Christian Dior.”
The move to fire the designer comes after U.K. newspaper The Sun released a video online on Monday showing Galliano at hip Parisian bar La Perle making severely anti-Semitic remarks to a nearby couple who filed a complaint. Galliano’s racist outburst included comments like “I love Hitler” and “your mothers, your forefather” would all be “gassed.” Galliano has worked for the fashion house since 1996.
Dior refused further comment on the situation, but did confirm that the proceedings to fire Galliano are indeed underway.
Natalie Portman, who recently signed a deal to represent Miss Dior Cherie perfume, said Monday: ““I am deeply shocked and disgusted by the video of John Galliano’s comments that surfaced today. In light of this video, and as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr. Galliano in any way.” (While Portman opted to wear a Rodarte gown to the Oscars on Sunday night instead of a Dior by John Galliano dress as planned, fellow Best Actress nominee Nicole Kidman sported a Christian Dior spring gown to the ceremony.)
A Dior expo featuring Galliano’s designs opened at le Bon Marché department store in Paris Feb. 26 and Bon Marche and Dior will host an opening cocktail party on Monday to fete the exhibition. A spokesperson for le Bon Marché said that “The exhibition will go on as planned as it's been planned for several months now,” but could not confirm if Galliano will show up for the event honoring his work.
“I think its too early to predict a replacement because it was a very violent departure,” Fashion Consultant and Former President of the Couture Federation Donald Potard said in an interview, but added that Dior will have to find a replacement quickly in time for the July Couture shows. “Politically and artistically, Dior is obliged to choose someone totally different to really show a departure from Galliano’s image.”
“I think that the house of Dior will come out clean from this mess, but the House of John Galliano, I don’t think they’ll be able to survive this,” Potard said, adding: “It’s incredible how you can be the king of the world and then five minutes later, you don’t exist anymore.”