* Galliano says has been in recovery from alcoholism
* Was fired by Dior after making anti-Semitic remarks
* Fashion figures, Anti-Defamation League welcome his return
By Chris Michaud
NEW YORK, Jan 18 Disgraced fashion designer John
Galliano is making his return to the industry with a temporary
residency at Oscar de la Renta's studio in New York, de la Renta
said on Friday.
The British designer, who was fired by Dior in 2011 after he
was caught on camera making anti-Semitic remarks in a Paris
cafe, will spend the next three weeks with de la Renta as he
prepares for his forthcoming New York Fashion Week show.
"He has worked long and hard on his recovery, and I'm happy
to give him the opportunity to reimmerse himself in the world of
fashion and reacclimate in an environment where he has been so
creative," de la Renta said in a statement confirming Galliano's
De la Renta added that he had known Galliano for years and
said "I'm a great admirer of his talent."
Galliano, 52, said an addiction to drugs and alcohol had
left him out of control and he was determined to make amends.
Galliano's sudden departure from the star position at one of
the multibillion-dollar global fashion world's most recognized
labels shook the industry and left LVMH, Dior's owner
and a leading international luxury goods conglomerate, without a
creative leader at its top couture brand for months.
Dior's new lead designer, Raf Simons, presented his first
ready-to-wear collection last September.
A French court handed out a 6,000-euro ($8,000) suspended
fine to Galliano in 2011 after he was found guilty of
In a statement issued on Friday, Galliano said he has been
in recovery from alcoholism for the past two years, but that
several years before "I descended into the madness of the
disease. I said and did things which hurt others, especially
members of the Jewish community."
He added that he was "committed to making amends to those I
have hurt. I am grateful to Oscar beyond words for inviting me
to spend time with him in the familiar surroundings of a design
studio. His support and faith in me is humbling."
Since his Dior dismissal, Galliano has designed British
model Kate Moss's wedding dress and was mooted as the new
creative director of the relaunched fashion label Schiaparelli
in rumors that were quickly dismissed, Vogue magazine reported.
Galliano is widely thought of as one of the most talented
and creative names in fashion. His shows for his eponymous label
and Dior were known for their drama and theatrical beauty.
'PRINCE OF ROMANTIC GLAMOUR'
Fashion world figures expressed support for Galliano's
return, with Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman saying "This is
terrific" on Twitter.
"Oscar de la Renta is the king of uptown style and John
Galliano the prince of romantic glamour, so it should be a
magical match," she told Vogue.
Marie Claire creative director Nina Garcia, who is also a
judge on the popular television competition "Project Runway,"
said "Welcome to New York John Galliano!!!!!" in a Twitter
posting, while Elle magazine gushed, "You'll never believe who
Oscar de la Renta welcomed to his NYC studio!"
The Anti-Defamation League, which monitors and fights
anti-Semitism, also welcomed the move, citing Galliano's
"demonstrated effort to learn from his remarks about Jews,
Hitler and the Holocaust."
"We believe that individuals can change their hearts and
minds as long as they demonstrate true contrition," said the
group's national director, Abraham Foxman, in a statement posted
on its website.
"Mr. Galliano has worked arduously in changing his worldview
and dedicated a significant amount of time to researching,
reading, and learning about the evils of anti-Semitism and
Foxman said Galliano had met with the group many times, and
added: "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."