Designer John Galliano Gives 'First-Ever Sober Interview' Following Anti-Semitic Rant
Famed fashion designer John Galliano spoke with Vanity Fair in his "first-ever sober interview" since his epic fall from grace following the video recording of an anti-Semitic rant that had him fired from Dior and shunned by the industry.
We've pulled an excerpt, but head over to Vanity Fair for a full preview of the interview, in which Galliano explores his alcohol and drug addiction and the demons that led to the vitriolic tirade that destroyed his career.
Fashion designer John Galliano, in his first-ever sober interview, tells Vanity Fair contributing editor Ingrid Sischy that, in spite of his words, he is not an anti-Semite or a racist. “It’s the worst thing I have said in my life, but I didn’t mean it. . . . I have been trying to find out why that anger was directed at this race. I now realize I was so fucking angry and so discontent with myself that I just said the most spiteful thing I could.”
All told there were three separate accusations of Galliano’s having made anti-Semitic tirades. Galliano reiterates that he does not remember the events of the night in 2010 when his remarks were videotaped, explaining, “When everyone came over to tell me that I had done these terrible things, I was walking round and round and round not really knowing what had gone down. My assistant told me about the video. When I saw it, I threw up. The feeling was like I was about to take a step out onto the street and a bus or truck whooshed past me and the blood was drained from my legs. I was paralyzed from the fear.”
Galliano tells Sischy about his admission to an Arizona rehab facility on March 1, 2011. Here staff confiscated pretty much everything he brought, including the Keith Richards memoir, Life.When he was allowed his first two-minute phone call, he called Bill Gaytten (who had stepped in as creative director of the John Galliano label), just before the Galliano fashion show began in Paris, hoping to tell the models what they should be thinking as they walked down the runway. The call did not go well. “Bill said, ‘Do you realize what you’ve fucking done?,’” Galliano recalls, “and I said, ‘Kind of.’ But I still didn’t. I couldn’t say yes. I just couldn’t. And those were the last words we shared. That’s someone I’ve known for 30 years. Even now I’m still learning every day how many people I hurt.”
Can John Galliano reclaim his position in the fashion industry? Should he be allowed to?
Galliano's full interview appears in the July 2013 issue of Vanity Fair.