John Galliano is ready for his comeback. The disgraced Dior designer, who lost his job and faced criminal prosecution in France for hate speech after a series of incidents where he hurled racist and anti-Semitic invective at strangers became public, is undertaking a sort of residency at Oscar de la Renta's design studio. The duties of this gig are not exactly clear — de la Renta says he'll be putting together his fall collection and will welcome Galliano's advice, but that he'll be working independently.
After Galliano was caught on camera telling Jewish diners at a Paris restaurant "I love Hitler. People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be fucking gassed," powerful people in fashion who had long supported him worked quietly but assiduously to keep Galliano from becoming a pariah. Anna Wintour is believed to have "lobbied" major fashion companies on Galliano's behalf. Kate Moss commissioned him to make her wedding dress. He has dined publicly with Vogue editors including Wintour and Grace Coddington, and there was a rumor that he was in the running to take over the creative directorship of the newly revived house of Schiaparelli (which is still vacant). But this is the first fashion-related job Galliano has secured since the scandal broke. Wintour and de la Renta are close friends; perhaps she orchestrated this residency.
De la Renta called Galliano "an immense talent." Galliano gave this contrite quote:
"I am an alcoholic," Galliano said. "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."
Wait. Jewish leaders can't possibly feel good about this. Au contraire: Abraham Foxman from the Anti-Defamation League offered this sympathetic assessment of Galliano's amends:
"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. 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."
If this little plan actually works, it could be the biggest comeback of an anti-Semitic designer since Coco Chanel. [WWD]
With François Hollande's marriage-equality bill up for a vote in the French parliament perhaps as soon as this week, French Elle has launched an issue dedicated to gay marriage. Editor Valerie Toranian decries in her editor's letter "the mobilization of opponents of marriage for all."
This is the logical result of the history of our country, which is founded on the principles of individual liberty and equality of all before the law. All the battles fought for the rights of women were, and continue to be, based on those values. Today, there is no reason why, in the name of those values, the state should refuse to two people of the same sex the right to marry.
The cover tag line is "Marriage for All." Inside the magazine are wedding-themed editorials featuring models of the same sex. [Elle.fr]
Jennifer Aniston is now the face of Aveeno, a brand she swears she's "been using for years." [People ]
Katie Holmes landed a multi-year deal as the face of Alterna. The actress has also taken an ownership stake in the hair-care brand. [WWD ]
Betsey Johnson estimates that she spends $20,000 per year on hair extensions. "It costs 5,000 a pop to look this cheap and trashy," says the designer. That is all. [UnBeige ]
- Courageous truth-teller Mickey Drexler, who moonlights as C.E.O. of J. Crew when he's not fulminating at retail conferences, took the floor at a conference to decry the lying lies of the executives onstage, all of whom were offering, in Drexler's view, inflated numbers for their full-priced retail sales. (Discounting is the dirty secret of the luxury industry.) "No one up there is telling us the truth when it comes to the percentage of their product sold at full-price and that's a fact," said Drexler. "In terms of contribution to ROI [return on investment] for a brand in 2013, online is number one, factory stores come in at number two and finally at number three, it's bricks and mortar stores. So don't try and tell me 70% of sales come from full-price retail." Don't even try. Just don't. Millard "Mickey" Drexler will call you out. [Fashionista]
- Christina Ricci "designed" a makeup bag for the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy-owned brand Make Up For Ever. It's black and it has studs on it. [WWD]
- Karlie Kloss says she'd love to go to university — one day.
"Harvard at some point is in the plan, but all in good time...I will fit it in. That is the great thing: I'm 20-years-old! I feel fortunate to have an incredible career and experiences behind me but there is so much more that I want to do with this career with with my life. I have always had an interest in medicine; my father is an emergency room doctor. Now that I am getting more and more involved in these entrepreneurial projects I think business is something that would also be fascinating. To have a better understanding of economics and business and the way to run a successful company...Tyra did it. She went to Harvard Business School. I can do it, too."
Well, technically Tyra didn't go to Harvard Business School, actually. (Although she often leads people to believe she did.) A better supermodel to take as an academic model might be Christy Turlington, who earned a B.A. from N.Y.U. and a Master's in public health from Columbia. [Fashionista]
- Rihanna is collaborating on a clothing line with the U.K. retailer River Island. And she'll launch it with a catwalk show at London Fashion Week in February. The singer called the show "a dream come true." [Vogue UK]
- Target has announced that its latest high-low designer partner isn't a designer at all: it's stylist Kate Young, known for her celebrity clients (Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz) and her editorial work (Vogue, Interview, i-D). Young's line of special-occasion dresses will hit stores on April 14. [WWD]
- Peter Som has announced he will not be showing at New York fashion week next month. No reason was given for the change. [The Cut]
- Alexander McQueen will not host a runway show this season. Designer Sarah Burton will be in London on maternity leave during Paris Fashion Week, so instead the house will have a small presentation for buyers and press. [WWD]
- And now, a moment with Cynthia Rowley. Cynthia, would you talk a little about the mistakes of your 20s?
"In my early twenties, I just moved to New York City, started making clothes, and was so broke. I did almost anything to pay the rent. (Picture whatever mistake you want here.)"