John Galliano is finally returning to the fashion industry... and it's all thanks to Oscar de la Renta.
WWD is reporting that de la Renta has invited the disgraced designer to "spend some time with him in his studio over the next three weeks." What he'll be doing there (draping in a corner? designing a collection? drinking tea with de la Renta?) is unknown. But it is believed that Anna Wintour had a hand in brokering this highly unorthodox "in residence" agreement.
For his part, de la Renta says he believes in second chances, and he was happy to offer Galliano, a talent he has long admired, the chance to "reimmerse himself in the world of fashion and reacclimate in an environment where he has been so creative.”
"I think John is doing all the right things," de la Renta told WWD. Though he made it clear this was in no way a succession plan. “Am I retiring? Is John going to replace me?” de la Renta posed, unsolicited. “Certainly not. I hope to be around for a long time.”
Galliano, in his first interview since his fall from grace, said that he is "grateful to Oscar beyond words for inviting me to spend time with him in the familiar surroundings of a design studio. His support and faith in me is humbling.”
It's been two years since Galliano was fired as the creative director of Dior after a YouTube clip of him uttering "I love Hitler" leaked online. Galliano subsequently stood trial on charges of public insult and was found guilty of making anti-Semitic slurs and fined €6,000.
Is it too soon for a comeback? Maybe, maybe not.
Rumors that Galliano would take up the reins at Diego Della Valle's revived Schiaparelli label have circulated for months now and have been met with mixed reactions.
But also consider this: When Galliano took the stand he admitted to suffering from pill and alcohol addiction. Since then it has been believed that he has gone to rehab to get sober. He confirms as much to WWD stating, “I am an alcoholic. I have been in recovery for the past two years." He goes on to admit that "Several years prior to my sobriety, I descended into the madness of the disease. I said and did things which hurt others, especially members of the Jewish community. I have expressed my sorrow privately and publicly for the pain which I caused, and I continue to do so. I remain committed to making amends to those I have hurt.”
So how has Galliano been going about making amends?
Apparently he's been meeting with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The organization released a statement today welcoming the "recovery and and redemption of fashion designer John Galliano."
ADL national director Abraham H. Foxman said:
We believe that individuals can change their hearts and minds as long as they demonstrate true contrition.
Mr. Galliano has worked arduously in changing his worldview and dedicated a significant amount of time to researching, reading, and learning about the evils of anti-Semitism and bigotry. Along his journey to recovery he met with us on numerous occasions. He has accepted full responsibility for his previous remarks and understands that hurtful comments have no place in our society.
We wish him much success and look forward to working with him again in the near future as a spokesman against anti-Semitism, intolerance and bigotry.
Galliano has the ADL's support. Does he have yours?