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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fashion Opinion: Why John Galliano's appointment as Creative Director of Margiela concerns me

I told myself that I would not give my opinion on the news about John Galliano returning to mainstream fashion as the Creative Director of Margiela. That was until The Guardian's Jess Cartner-Morley lent her voice to the matter. Like Cortner-Morley I do feel the fashion world should not just gloss over the reasons why Galliano's career took a nosedive a little over three years ago.

Yes lovelies, it has only been three years since the world found out about the racist statements Galliano made and his firing from Dior. It feels longer than just three years because seven fashion cycles (s/s - F/W) have gone by. Maybe this is why it is possible for Galliano to take on such a high profile role. This sense of time versus actual time that has elapse makes it look like the fashion industry has a short memory.

This does not mean the man is not deserving of forgiveness and a second chance. I am a firm believer of forgiveness. However, it seems that the second chance should have been earned. Galliano reveled in the limelight, which probably led to his substance abuse and downfall in 2011.

Dior kicks Galliano to the curb after making racists remarks in two separate incidents


Perhaps, the designer should have been given lead over a line instead of charge over an entire fashion house. Test the waters to see how being brought back to fashion relevance would work out for him. He was on the right track last year when worked with Oscar de la Renta. If he spent more time in that type of role with more exposure coming gradually, I might not be so apprehensive.

Galliano is a designer so I believe he wants this opportunity so he can get back and do what he seems to love. However, being so front and center will lead to scrutiny for him and Margiela. If he were to fall off the wagon and make a spectacle of himself, then headlines will read, "History repeats itself..." All of the fashion journalists praising his return to the top will then criticize Margiela for not anticipating something like that happening.

This is where earning your place at the top again would work for both Galliano and the Martin Margiela brand. If Galliano could show proven results that he could handle work and being "on the scene" again for a few years then appointing him Creative Director would not seem like such a shock. People would be able to see that this is what Galliano and the Margiela brand were working towards.

Right now, I feel uneasy about this. I just hope this works out for both John Galliano and the Martin Margiela brand.

To John Galliano, I wish you much success within this new role. If you keep your focus on the art that you love and your eyes on the prize, your sobriety will remain in check and you could become a shining example in fashion. You will be the example of why second chances exist. You are a fashion innovator. Let that be the legacy you leave behind.


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