Well, now we know! Providing a definite and final answer to last week’s reports that John Galliano could very well one day return to his own label, the LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault told the New York Times’ Cathy Horyn that, ‘he will not be working for LVMH.’ We brought you reports on Friday that LVMH executives had held ‘casual discussions’ about the possibility of Galliano returning to his eponymous label but it appears that the fashion giant’s CEO had a different view. Stating clearly that the designer will not be working again for any of the luxury group’s brands he added that after his arrest and dismissal from Dior, ‘he didn’t have the simple politeness to contact me.’
So, while Galliano’s design future remains uncertain (he is rumoured to be working on Kate Moss’ wedding dress in New York), the label that bears his name is moving on with a new man in charge. It was announced yesterday that Bill Gaytten, the 51-year-old British designer that has worked beside John Galliano for 23 years, is to succeed him at the creative helm of the Paris-based fashion house. Sidney Toledano, John Galliano and Christian Dior’s CEO, told WWD that Gaytten ‘has been leading the design team’ at Galliano and oversaw the men’s collection that was presented on Friday in Paris. Intriguingly, when asked if he had been concerned in recent years that Mr. Galliano’s dependency might pose a problem for the company, Mr. Toledano told the New York Times, ‘there were concerns, and we warned him officially. I’ve talked to the lawyers for years.’
The big question of who will succeed Galliano at Dior remains unanswered and so does the one about what will the disgraced British designer do next with the High Court in Paris is to deliver its ruling on September the 8th. No matter what, he remains in everyone’s minds. ‘It was a bit different because John wasn’t there’, Bill Gaytten told WWD before confessing with a laugh, ‘I’m dying to know what he thinks!’ So do we, Bill!
--- Kiki Georgiou