Who says a racist tirade is bad for business? Dior just reported its earnings for the first nine months of 2011 and overall revenue (for the Dior brand specifically) increased about 21% at current exchange rates. This is despite the fact that the label’s former creative director, John Galliano, made headlines for weeks for making antisemitic slurs, was fired, and then was put on very public (and live-Tweeted) trial.
So is it really true what they say, that all press is good press? Even after Galliano’s demise, Dior continued to have a presence in the news with speculation on the fate of the brand, who would succeed Galliano and negative reviews for Bill Gaytten’s collections.
Perhaps the adage is true, but the Financial Times’ Vanessa Friedman points out that the opposite could be true: Maybe Dior’s strongest customers have no idea what’s going on inside the house of Dior. They may not even know who Galliano is, or are simply ambivalent about his feelings on Hitler. “They knew Dior, and it was enough,” she writes. It’s a good point–at the end of the day, at least in the eye of consumers, Dior is a brand, not a person. And we keep hearing that luxury markets are benefiting from the recession, so this may just be another example of that.
Negotiations with Marc Jacobs, currently artistic director at Louis Vuitton, to become Dior’s next couturier have been progressing, sources said this week. It is understood Celine’s design star, Phoebe Philo, remains the preferred candidate to succeed Jacobs at Vuitton should the American designer conclude a deal with Dior.
Does this mean we’ll actually hear something concrete soon?? Stay tuned.