Can Galliano Invoke a Britney Spears Tale of Redemption?

Kerry Pieri

I promise I am not saying the Britney and Galliano had similar breakdowns, talking Hitler is a whole other destructive, cruel approach to kind of losing your mind. However, there is somewhat of a method to alleviating the madness once a celebrity, basically, goes mad, and Galliano has boarded that train. Gene Grabowski, senior vice president of Washington-based Levick Strategic Communications basically broke the method down for WWD:

He needs to spend at least three months quietly rehabilitating in a clinic. When he emerges, he should announce that he has changed his life and has learned new and healthier habits and that he is ready to contribute to his field and to society again. He then must demonstrate that he is serious about his new direction by contributing a sum of money or his time to a worthy project connected to the fashion industry or to helping a cause connected with Jewish interests. He behaved himself into his situation and now he must behave himself out of it.

Finishing with: “that the process could take a year or two ‘for the new reputation to build and for memories of the old behavior to fade.’

The whole “rehab, then apologize, wait it out” method has worked for some (See: Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr., Tiger Woods… so far) and not so much for others (Lindsay Lohan). But, it is the de rigueur way to handle re-ingratiating yourself to the public after either freaking out and shaving your head, getting arrested, shoplifting, cheating on your wife with a thousand hookers (give or take) and the like. But will it work for Galliano? Some industry peeps weighed in to the trade.

Franca Sozanni, EIC Italian Vogue:

Look at Naomi Campbell. She had so many problems. No one remembers.” (um, I do)
Continuing, Its not a matter of making amends, because what happened will never be excused. You must let time go by and recognize that, on a human level, hes made a mistake, and that, on a creative level, he remains a huge personality.

Sarah Rutson, fashion director, Hong Kong-based specialty retailer Lane Crawford:

“After a while memories fade and, as the British say, Todays news is tomorrows fish-and-chip paper. I really believe most people do get a second chance and rebound…If John truly gets the help he needs for his issues and shows that he is genuinely doing everything in his power to rehabilitate himself, he will be forgiven and accepted back.

Agns Barret, principal of Paris-based creative search firm Agent Secret

“I think hes talented enough to recover from this and to come back. Kate Moss did it. When people are really talented, they have the right to express themselves. His talent will not disappear. I would advise him to do it in a different way.” (Kate skipped the rehab and went straight for the meteoric rise, though).

Many others from within retail put in their two cents also, but most of it sounds the same it would take a lot if it’s even possible, to restore Galliano as a working and successful designer. I do fully believe that if Galliano was suffering with just addiction, and that rant hadn’t happened, the public easily would have forgiven him, but it’s a testament to the fact that people do not tolerate hate that it’s a more difficult path. Do you think he could ever rebound from this?

share