John Galliano’s fashion house named Bill Gaytten as new creative director to replace the label’s eponymous founding designer who was fired this year and is standing trial in Paris for making anti-Semitic comments.
Gaytten, born in England in 1960, has worked at Galliano for 23 years after employment at Victor Edelstein for three years, the fashion house said in a statement yesterday.
“Gaytten’s expertise to innovate patterns, cut and drape are what define the DNA of the house,” the statement said.
John Galliano told a Paris court this week that addictions to alcohol and drugs left him unable to remember anti-Semitic and racist attacks that bar patrons said he made. He said was sorry for “the sadness this affair has caused.”
The 50-year-old, Gibraltar-born designer said he began receiving treatment for addiction to alcohol, sleeping pills and valium at a clinic in Arizona in February and is now being treated in Switzerland. He isn’t working.
Galliano was fired by Christian Dior SA over a video recording of him saying “I love Hitler.” He testified this week that, when questioned by police, he denied making other racist and anti-Semitic statements outright because, “I was still taking those pills. I was in complete denial.”
Galliano’s accusers at the trial said he uttered the slurs at a café in Paris’s fashionable third arrondissement. Within days of that Feb. 24 incident, an undated video of a slurring Galliano praising Adolf Hitler, and saying “people like you would be dead,” was posted on the website of the U.K. tabloid The Sun. Galliano was fired by the Paris fashion house the next day, less than a week before he was to host its women’s ready-to-wear show.