John Galliano to speak at London Jewish event, four years post anti-Semitic tirade

British fashion designer seeks to mend relations with Jewish community, to speak at Jewish learning program.

April 25, 2015 13:45
1 minute read.
John Galliano

John Galliano. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Renowned fashion designer John Galliano, known for his flamboyant, avant-garde collections for French fashion houses Givenchy and Christian Dior, is set to speak at the launch of a London Jewish learning program next month, The Jewish Chronicle reported Friday.

Galliano’s appearance at the opening will mark a further step in the rehabilitation of his image within the Jewish community, tainted four years ago when he was caught on camera making anti-Semitic remarks at a Paris cafe.

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His tirade effectively banished him from the Paris fashion scene for years. Dior removed him from his post as head designer of Luxe Fashion House; Natalie Portman, face of the company’s perfume, denounced him and expressed “disgust” over his tirade.

Galliano went under the radar, undergoing treatment for drugs and alcohol before inching his way towards a comeback in the fashion scene. The designer briefly worked for the fashion house of Oscar de la Renta in 2013 before being offered a permanent role by Maison Margiela in October 2014.

With his fashion comeback on track, Galliano has now, with the help of London’s Rabbi Barry Marcus, set to mend relations with the Jewish community. “As a human being, as a Jew, as a rabbi, as a humanist, I’m almost duty-bound to open the door to somebody who wants to make amends,” Marcus told the Jewish Chronicle of his relations with Galliano.

With his set appearance at the inaugural session of Connect, a creative initiative between three Orthodox London synagogues to promote Jewish learning, Galliano hopes to repair relations with the Jewish community.

His impending talk is set to focus on fashion and clothing in the Bible.

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