WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
LVMH is still a majority stakeholder in the Galliano brand, and exactly how much is difficult to discern as French laws differ from U.S. laws in terms of what is, and isn’t, available for public knowledge. Though, if it is structured anything like Marc Jacobs, of which LVMH owns 96 percent on last account, then Mr. Galliano may have a miniscule say, at best, at what goes on there. Though LVMH chief, Bernard Arnault, has very clearly stated, “He will not be working for LVMH.” So perhaps getting back the Galliano label is simply out the question at this point. Is this the end of Galliano’s fashion career?
That said, the Galliano label’s sales have increased in the Middle East, Moscow and Asia, and strategically, this can mean big business for the brand in the long run, and a platform from which to rebuild. It also exhibits consumer faith in the brand, in spite of what has happened. Fern Mallis, Fashion Consultant and the former head of the CFDA and IMG, seems to think forgiveness is in order, telling SCENE, “We live in a world of forgiveness, while what he said was awful, people deserve a second chance.” This idea of forgiveness is a surprising, yet almost unanimous sentiment from all those in the fashion world who were willing to speak on the topic. There are even whispers that Anna Wintour is trying to “help” get Galliano back on his feet.
“We love to build celebrities up knock them down, but we also love a comeback,” says Mickey Boardman, Editorial Director of Paper magazine. “But first he has to get to a point where people would really believe he is sorry. Then they would accept him again.”
But some think Galliano needs to do much more than just convince people he regrets the horrendous things he said. Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre said, “It is up to him to make amends to the community he demeaned and to the public at large.” They feel his earlier apology was not sufficient. “It is important to emphasize that a cleverly worded press release is not sufficient. If John Galliano is truly sorry for what he did, only his future deeds will tell us how sincere he is.”
And what Galliano’s future holds—whether on the catwalk or in Hollywood—remains unclear.