FASHION

Inside the secret plan to bring back John Galliano – fashion’s most controversial designer

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Now, though Galliano has a solid job as creative director for the avant-garde Maison Margiela, a post he has held for ten years, it is said among fashion cognoscenti (and as I first reported in my Substack newsletter, The Style Files) that he may be brought back into the LVMH group. The various alleged scenarios include repossessing the John Galliano brand, which he founded in London in the 1980s, sold to LVMH in the 1990s and which currently lies practically dormant, or Givenchy, an LVMH-owned couture house, where Galliano got his big break in 1995, and which has been designer-less since January 1. “I’ve heard [he will go] for Celine,” says Robert Burke, founder of the New York retail consultancy Robert Burke and Associates, referring to yet another LVMH brand, which is reportedly about to lose its chief designer, Hedi Slimane. 

Should Galliano finally be allowed to return from what he has described as his “exile”?

“It’s a complicated question,” Kathleen Law, an American tourist from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, pondered last week, as she visited La Galerie Dior, a wildly popular mini-museum at the company’s Paris headquarters, where the best of Galliano’s creations for the couture house are on show. “Same with Michael Jackson. Can you separate the art from the man?”

The rumours – for that’s all they are for the moment (LVMH declined to comment when approached about this story) – have not been born from the hoping of Galliano devotees. 

For the last two years or so, there has been what appears to be carefully conceived and executed plan to publicly rehabilitate Galliano – most likely led by Arnault, and his longtime mentor Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue and chief content officer of its parent company, Condé Nast.




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