British designer John Galliano.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK - Disgraced fashion designer John Galliano, who was
fired from his job at French fashion house Christian Dior after making
anti-Semitic rants, says he is not a racist and has spent the past few years
trying to atone for his words and actions.
In what is described as his
first interview since the events in 2011, he told Vanity Fair magazine about his
drinking and drug use leading up to his angry encounter with customers in a cafe
"It's the worst thing I have said in my life, but I didn't mean
it," Galliano said. "I have been trying to find out why that anger was directed
at this race." Despite his conviction for his remarks and being shunned by many
in the fashion world, Galliano, 52, said although it may sound bizarre he is
grateful for what happened.
"I have learned so much about myself. I have
re-discovered that little boy who had the hunger to create, which I think I had
lost. I am alive," he said.
Galliano had been one of the most celebrated
fashion designers of his generation, creating well-received collections for Dior
until his ouster.
A French court convicted him of making "public insults
based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity" during two episodes
in a Parisian cafe and gave him a suspended fine of 6,000 euros ($8,000), which
he will have to pay only if he is convicted of a similar offence.
third incident, which was videotaped and made public, Galliano is shown taunting
people in a cafe.
"When everyone came over to tell me I had done these
terrible things, I was walking round and round and round not really knowing what
had gone down," he explained.
Galliano said he slipped into drinking over
time and would use alcohol to crash after completing his collections. But he
never admitted he was an alcoholic because he thought he could control
Following his conviction, he was treated in a rehabilitation facility
in Arizona and has been sober for more than two years.
Since his recovery
Galliano designed the 1920's style gown for the 2011 wedding of British model
Kate Moss. He also worked with New York-based fashion designer Oscar de la Renta
for several weeks earlier this year.
Galliano was due to teach a master
class at Parsons The New School for Design his year but the class the
For the past two years, he said he has been trying to make
amends and to possibly return to work.
The latest issue of Vanity Fair
will be available on newsstands on Thursday.
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