Women's Wear Daily is reporting that Bernard Arnault has at last found a replacement for John Galliano at Christian Dior, the €21 billion luxury brand that is one of the biggest and sparkliest jewels in LVMH's crown. According to "sources," Marc Jacobs is in "talks" to leave Louis Vuitton to take over Dior. Phoebe Philo, who currently designs for Céline, might replace Jacobs at Vuitton in addition to her current work. Galliano was fired this spring after making a series of drunken, racist rants to strangers in a Paris bistro; one of the outbursts was caught on camera, and the disgraced designer faced charges under France's strict hate speech laws. LVMH, Dior's parent company, has taken its time in replacing him — it even let a couture season occur while the house was rudderless. If he were appointed, Marc Jacobs would be the first American (and in fact the first non-European of any nationality) to design for Dior. The Dior job search has been the subject of intense speculation; earlier this year, Fashionista wrote that Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci was all but set to take the job. [WWD]
In other Galliano news, the Times of London reported this Sunday that the designer's longtime friend and right-hand man at Dior Steven Robinson, whose 2007 death is said to have contributed to Galliano's downward spiral into drug and alcohol abuse, was not, as had been reported, a heart attack. Instead, Robinson died at 38 of a massive overdose of cocaine. His dealer, a man named Alassane Seck, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, and convicted — but the case was tried in France in private, and the transcripts were permanently sealed. Galliano even testified. Lawyers for Seck say that this was a cover-up, because Seck was a dealer to powerful figures in France's cultural and political elite. (Allegedly, one of his former clients was a godfather to Carla Bruni's son.) [The Fix, Telegraph]
At 16 years old, you think you know everything, and then all of a sudden you realize that you don't know anything at all. That is the best way to explain what I was feeling at that time.
I had grand illusions of what I thought modeling would be, as any young girl would. I was working with these masters in fashion and photography and learning from brilliant, creative people from around the world. But at the same time, I didn't realize the weight of responsibility that I would carry, to have the same expectations put upon you as a minor that an adult would have. I was just a kid; I didn't realize the freedom of youth that I was going be trading in for success. I became very successful, and I didn't know how to handle that.
I felt like some people wanted a piece of me, wanted to take something from me. I felt that they wanted to sexualize me. In hindsight, I can see that and know the truth of it, but at that time I didn't know that's what they were doing. I just thought, Oh, I'm suddenly successful and all my dreams are coming true, but why do I feel so scared? I experimented with drugs; I was young and wanted to ‘‘fit in.'' I quickly realized this wasn't the path for me, and I haven't touched any drug since I was 17.
I'm an actor now on an upcoming show on the CW, ‘‘Hart of Dixie.'' I wish that I would have known how to have a career and be a kid at the same time. I think for the fashion industry that can happen only if they have a union for the young models as they do for the young actors.
- Alexander Wang is seeking applicants for a talent show that he will throw in his New York City boutique on Fashion's Night Out. If you want to submit a video of your most impressive rendition of La Cucaracha on crystal water glasses, or whatever, you can do so here. [Elle]
- Despite that enticement, Cathy Horyn is none too excited by Fashion's Night Out. She writes: "Instead of Groundhog Day, the Bill Murray movie, we now have Fashion's Night Out. It never ends. On Sept. 8, designers will be at their posts, just as they were this time last year, and you can go through the madness all over again. This is truly the age of reiteration.." [On The Runway]
- Michael Kors remains grateful to Anna Wintour for making it through his first ever show: "I had no office, so I took the collection in canvas garment bags on the subway to New York Magazine and proceeded to make Anna sit through an entire fashion show with only one model. It was like 'Okay, another one's coming, another one's coming!" [Vogue UK]
- The judge in the ongoing Yves Saint Laurent/Christian Louboutin trademark infringement case — the contretemps of the red-soled shoes — has stayed his preliminary injunction allowing YSL to sell some red-soled shoes it produced for this current season, pending Louboutin's appeal. [WWD]
- A 49-year-old American Apparel employee died at the company's Los Angeles factory on Friday. Truon Phan died after being crushed by a circular knitting machine. Even in the U.S., where hard-won labor protections and regulations aim to protect workers' safety, being a garment worker is still a dangerous trade. [OC Register]
- Ann Taylor appears to be turning itself around. The company reported its healthiest financials in years yesterday: sales during the quarter just ended rose 15% overall, and same-store sales grew 8.6%, compared with the same period last year. Profits increased 52% to $24.8 million, which handily beats analysts' projections. [WWD]
- An Italian woman has developed, and patented, a method for transforming natural cork into a textile. The Times reports that the resulting fabric, which is comprised of thin layers of purified cork that are bonded to a backing fabric, is "tough and resistant, yet delicate to the touch, and comfortable to wear." [NYTimes]