Galliano’s Dismissal, From a Branding Perspective

John Gallianowas fired from Christian Dior and reaction is pouring in. On AllTwitter, our colleagues note the disappointment from fans, the joke from Steve Martin, and both the praise and skepticism over Natalie Portman’s reaction. The Oscar winner is also the spokesperson for the Miss Dior Cherie fragrance. In a statement, she expressed her “shock” and said she would not “be associated with Galliano in any way.”

In a sign of the disconnect between some members of the fashion world and everyone else, The Hollywood Reporter also took a summary of the reaction from designers, models, and members of the media. The article quotes Giorgio Armani: “I’m very very sorry for him. It’s obviously a difficult time for him. I am also very sorry that they videotaped him without him knowing.” Really?

No matter how sorry you do or don’t feel for Galliano, Dior did the right thing, Forbes maintains. We agree.

Update: Galliano issues an apology.

Raquel Laneri writes that Dior is the “crown jewel” in the LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton kingdom, its image reflects all of the company’s brands with high value to its wealthy majority stakeholder Bernard Arnault, and has nationwide important to France.

“It is the label that the country’s First Lady Carla Bruni wears for state dinners and other public appearances,” the story reads. “It is a symbol of the French commitment to beauty and quality, of the belief that fashion is itself an art of the highest order. To have a brand with a head designer who has repeatedly made anti-Semitic, hateful comments in public represent the country is unthinkable.”

Basically, the company execs had to weigh which was more painful – losing Galliano, his talents and personality, or losing the esteem of the brand. They saw the value of the Dior name and decided Galliano and his toxic, ugly words posed too big a risk.

Update: Galliano has issued a statement. “I completely deny the claims made against me,” it says. “I must take responsibility for the circumstances in which I found myself and for allowing myself to be seen to be behaving in the worst possible light.” Marketwatch has the full text.

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