Oscar de la Renta Reaches Out To Galliano

It looks like someone is attempting a comeback — and he’s not doing it alone.


Once at the top of his game as the creative director at Dior, designer John Galliano took a terrific fall from grace after he went on an anti-Semitic tirade and assault in 2011, making him a pariah in the fashion world and leading to his dismissal from the famed couture house. But it seems someone is reaching out a hand to pull the troubled designer out of his self-created rubble — and that hand is Oscar de la Renta.

According to WWD, de la Renta took a risk and invited Galliano to his New York studio for a three week work stint. Oscar explained the charitable move to the fashion tome, “John and I have known each other for many years and I am a great admirer of his talent. He has worked long and hard on his recovery and I am happy to give him the opportunity to re-immerse himself in the world of fashion and re-acclimate in an environment where he has been so creative.”

Galliano, who has been working on a recovery from alcoholism added this statement, “I am an alcoholic. I have been in recovery for the past two years. 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.”

In this internet age, the public may not be ready to forgive such outrageous behavior — especially when it’s documented on film and easily found online — but the Anti-Defamation League, for its part, has chosen to do so. ADL’s director released the following official statement in reference to Oscar de la Renta’s outreached hand:

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 world view 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.

So the question remains: Is the public ready to forgive? Is the fashion industry? Time will tell.


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