Galliano Fashions a PR Comeback

 Galliano Fashions a PR Comeback

THE PR VERDICT: “A” (PR Perfect) for John Galliano.

Is John Galliano’s exile from the fashion world over? The designer has finally broken his silence, following his spectacular fall from grace in 2011 after making anti-Semitic rants in Paris. One episode in particular was videotaped, prompting his immediate firing from Dior and later conviction by a French court.

In his first interview since the scandal, Galliano opens up to a very sympathetic Vanity Fair.  His story has the making of an epic novel – the “un-idyllic” childhood in a multi-cultural but rough London neighborhood, where he was bullied for his homosexuality; his ascent into the world of high fashion; and the demons unlocked in fashion’s world of high pressure and unhealthy pampering. En plus, the unclear provenance of the incriminating video, fed to the media before Galliano’s arrest, provides just a hint of conspiracy. Vanity Fair spares no effort to exonerate, consulting and quoting experts to make the case that, when he hissed those spiteful things to people, Galliano just couldn’t help himself: Alcohol and drugs had simply made him insane.

Center stage in the article is Galliano’s contrition. Friends and other supporting sources, such as Jewish leaders he met through an executive of Vanity Fair’s publisher Condé Nast, vouch for the same. He studied the Holocaust, attended service at a synagogue, and is finally making tentative steps back into his profession, supported by fashion royalties such as Oscar de la Renta and Anna Wintour. Shalom, John, welcome back!

THE PR VERDICT: “A” (PR Perfect) for John Galliano. With a little help from influential friends, a comeback is always possible.

THE PR TAKEAWAY: For perfect rebound PR, timing is everything. Prepare the line-up of your supporters carefully, and make sure potential antagonists remain silent; one of the key stakeholders in this saga, Galliano’s former employer LVMH, declined to comment due to ongoing litigation about Galliano’s compensation. (The article hints at a soon-to-be-expected “human-to-human” apology from Galliano to his former bosses.) The glitterati love a tormented, artistic soul, and once confession and amends have been made, one may be pardoned and permitted to go back to work. Our PR advice? Post-comeback, work in silence.


The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners and Losers


Iraq fashion show 150x150 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners and LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR PERFECT) to Iraq’s Labour and Tourism Syndicate for organising the first fashion and beauty show since the U.S.-Iraq war began in 2003. Held in a small Baghdad hotel, the show is one of several events designed to promote a return to normalcy for Iraqi citizens and restore Bahgdad’s reputation as a vibrant Middle Eastern hotspot. It was even more significant because beauticians were targeted by religious militants during the war and forced to conduct their trade in secret. High marks to the syndicate for recognizing that beauty can, indeed, be more than skin deep.

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners and LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: F (“Full Fiasco”) to John Galliano. Oy vey! What was the controversial fashion designer thinking for his first major public appearance in NYC this week following his scandalous dismissal from the House of Dior? Fired from his perch because of woefully anti-Semitic remarks that were caught on camera, he turned up at NY fashion week in the garb of a Hasidic Jew. Those in the know said the suit was dark blue, not the customary black, and the look was closer to a dandy than one of the faithful. But everything down to the ringlet curls and large hat was just so, and a bit too-too close for comfort. Defenders claim it’s Galliano’s routine attire, while others are outraged. Bottom line, wasn’t there an easier, less controversial wardrobe choice? John, it’s time for damage control, not further damage.

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners and LosersTHE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD TO Toni Braxton, who announced earlier this week that she would be retiring from her career as a singer in order to focus on acting. Well forget this ho-hum Pope business! As much as we love La Braxton, PR proclamations such as these are unnecessary, and rather transparent bids for media attention. They also invite sarcastic responses, such as this: The world will likely go on without a new release, especially since “never” statements usually start the clock ticking on a comeback album five years hence.