A History of ‘Fashionable’ Antisemitism at the House of Dior
What goes around, comes around.
As we learn that British–born fashion designer, John Galliano will be prosecuted for his recent antisemitic outbursts, it is time to recall that the eponymous Christian Dior dressed the wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators during World War II.
Galliano’s suspension and then dismissal as creative director by the fashion house’s Jewish chief executive, Sidney Toledano fell on the first day of Paris Fashion Week and only three days before his own show which is due to run on Friday.
He has denied the claims against him, renounced antisemitism and racism, and apologized unreservedly for any offense his behavior has caused. He is thought to have left France for a rehabilitation program in the United States.
The pressure on Dior to sack Galliano was intensified by Oscar winning actress, Natalie Portman, who has been signed to promote a Dior perfume.
Portman, a Jew with dual Israeli-US citizenship, said that “as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr Galliano in any way. I hope at the very least, these terrible comments remind us to reflect and act upon combating these still-existing prejudices that are the opposite of all that is beautiful."
But Galliano will face trial over the incident at a Paris café in which he allegedly hurled antisemitic and racist abuse at Géraldine Bloch and Philippe Virgiti.
The proceedings will take place between April and June and if convicted, Galliano could be sentenced up to six months in prison with a fine totaling €22,500.