Disgraced designer John Galliano invited to return to fashion

Fashion-Galliano-De la Renta
FILE -In this June 22, 2011 file photo, former Dior designer John Galliano arrives at the Paris court house, charged with hurling anti-Semitic slurs in a Paris cafe. Galliano has been invited to return to fashion in the studio of Oscar de la Renta. De la Renta invited Galliano to spend time in his office over the next three weeks, according to a statement released Friday by de la Renta's company. Galliano was dismissed as creative director of Christian Dior and left his own label two years ago after an anti-Semitic rant at a Paris cafe was captured on video. A French court also convicted him on two other complaints of anti-Semitic behavior. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

It's been two years since John Galliano was captured on video, spewing anti-Semitic remarks like "I love Hitler," within his infamous, profanity-laced tirade at a crowded Parisian cafe. 

"Several years prior to my sobriety, I descended into the madness of the disease," said Galliano in a statement released Friday morning. "I said and did things which hurt others, especially members of the Jewish community," he continued. Seemingly contrite and penitent enough, perhaps it's time for the fallen designer to return to fashion?

The recovering alcoholic who has since kept a covert profile, only marking appearances for certain occasions including Kate Moss' wedding in 2012, has been invited to spend the next three weeks in Oscar de la Renta's studio, the company announced Friday.

"[Galliano] has worked long and hard on his recovery and I'm happy to give him the opportunity to reimmerse himself in the world of fashion and reacclimate in an environment where he has been so creative," de la Renta said in the statement. Although Galliano's exact role at ODLR remains under wraps, New York Fashion Week is rapidly approaching.

The story behind Galliano's unraveling begins with his rant - caught in a video that went viral - and ends with a French court convicting the then-creative director of Christian Dior in 2011, slapping him with a hefty fine.  In France, strict laws - enacted following the Holocaust - remain in place to curb racist behavior. Lucky for the designer, Galliano avoided a prison sentence. However, his career and reputation were instantly marred, with celebrities like Natalie Portman - a spokeswoman and face of Dior's Miss Dior Cherie fragrance - calling for Galliano's removal from the fashion house effective immediately. Once considered  France's most promising and talented designer, Galliano was dismissed by Dior shortly after his behavior created much concern for the label's future.

It was only until late 2012 that the French fashion house found his replacement - Belgium designer Raf Simons who previously helmed Jil Sander debuted his first collection for the brand in Fall 2012. On Sunday, french actress and brand ambassador Marion Cotillard wore Simons' creations on the Golden Globes red carpet, officially ushering in a new era for Dior.

Does Galliano deserve a second chance?

  • 22 (66.7%)
  • 11 (33.3%)
  • 33

As for Galliano, his next phase is still tentative.

"I have expressed my sorrow privately and publicly for the pain which I have caused and I continue to do so," he said. "I remain committed to making amends to those I have hurt."

Fashion - and the world - is watching.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.