Yes We Can… Forgive John Galliano

He is the designer who led Dior into a huge new age triumph, a new era, flamboyant and fresh, vigorous and artistic, surreal and real at the same time. His success was commercial, cultural and, above all, personal. Like most great personalities in fashion, he was carrying some kind of frenzy, necessary in order for someone to be great and creative. We can forgive him because he awoke people’s imagination. His friends said that he was lonely and had to deal with a lot of pressure. We can see this loneliness in the now notorious video. We don’t approve of his racist comments but we believe that society is overreacting.

Watching this old video that was taken months ago, we see a person who is lost, drunk and isolated, after so much ongoing success that he experiences for over two decades. This man needs support and mercy, not a kneejerk reaction that seems to relieve the majority of the people and at the same time creates a huge problem to the house of Dior and the whole world of fashion. If you stop and think for a while you might realize that maybe he faced at this unlucky moment of his life another sort of racism himself. People at the video were laughing at him, probably not knowing who really is or being aware and making intentionally fun of him. None of us was really there to judge. You cannot shoot down a star so easily, because the world then becomes even darker. The evil caused by his actions is not irreparable. We should be sensitive on such matters since in recent years we have lost great minds in fashion who are led to insanity due to great pressure to cope with market challenges and marketing priorities.

We can accept the ethical part of the case, but in my opinion Dior must give Galliano a second chance. Look at what he left behind and you will see what I mean. The 50-year-old designer needs some time for rehab, not a severe penalty. He is condemned by retailers, fashionistas, celebrities and other designers, the same people that have been wearing and selling his creations with a lot of pride, adding even more digits to their net worth and boosting their image because of him. He is peculiar, strange and extreme, as most geniuses are. Anyway, once again, I will insist that even ethically speaking all those accusing him are being oversensitive to what he said. Looking at it from another angle, isn’t there the slightest chance that he didn’t even mean it?

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