John Galliano, the ‘Hassid’
search
Fiddler on the catwalkFiddler on the catwalk

John Galliano, the ‘Hassid’

New York Post calls designer a ‘schmuck’; Abe Foxman defends his fashion ‘faux pas’

A details from the cover of a New York Post, featuring John Galliano in Hassidic-looking garb. The publication called him a 'schmuck.'
A details from the cover of a New York Post, featuring John Galliano in Hassidic-looking garb. The publication called him a 'schmuck.'

NEW YORK (AP) — Fashion designer John Galliano didn’t appear at New York Fashion Week, but he made headlines there anyway.

Galliano landed on the front of the New York Post on Wednesday under the headline “Shmuck!” with a photo of the designer wearing a hat and ringlets described as resembling those of a Hasidic Jew. Galliano was fired from Christian Dior two years ago after his anti-Semitic rant was caught on video, and the tabloid said the outfit “ignited a new round of outrage.”

Galliano’s representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, leapt to his defense.

“Here is a man who made a mistake and he’s been on a pilgrimage to try to learn and repair. And people instead of embracing his return are trying to distort and destroy him,” Foxman said.

Galliano has been in New York working at the studio of Oscar de la Renta, who invited the designer to return to fashion for the first time since the incident.

A details from the cover of Wednesday's New York Post, featuring John Galliano in Hassidic-looking garb. The publication called him a 'schmuck.'
A details from the cover of Wednesday’s New York Post, featuring John Galliano in Hassidic-looking garb. The publication called him a ‘schmuck.’

Galliano was not in the audience of Tuesday’s de la Renta runway show at New York Fashion Week but de la Renta’s publicist confirmed he was backstage. The photograph was taken in the street by celebrity photo agency Splash News.

Foxman pointed out that Galliano was wearing blue, not black like a Hasid, and a gray hat without the standard wide brim.

“This is John Galliano, OK? He dresses eccentric,” Foxman said. “He has long hair, they’re not peyos” — the traditional sidelocks worn by Hasids.

Galliano’s unraveling began with run-ins at a Paris cafe where fellow diners said he hurled racist and anti-Semitic insults. Video went viral showing an inebriated Galliano slurring “I love Hitler.” He was dismissed from Christian Dior, left his namesake label and was convicted by a French court on complaints of anti-Semitic behavior.

Galliano has since said he is an alcoholic and has been in recovery for the past two years. In a statement prior to his arrival in New York, he said he “descended into the madness of the disease” and continued to express his sorrow for causing pain to the Jewish community.

Foxman said he had personally spent hours talking with Galliano, and that the designer is meeting with a rabbi and studying Holocaust history. He said the designer had even offered to teach fashion to disadvantaged students in Israel.

“I think this is a malicious distortion, either to continue to destroy this man or to sell newspapers. Take your choice,” Foxman said.

“I’m in the business because I believe people can change their hearts and minds, otherwise why bother?” he added. “This is destroying this man again.”

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments