Dior 101: Our Guide To John Galliano’s Possible Replacements

Dior 101: Our Guide To John Galliano’s Possible Replacements
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At this point there’s no need to explain the John Galliano/Dior situation, but fashion critics and publications certainly wasted no time putting in their two cents about who should take the helm of the legendary design house. Experts from The New York Times, The Telegraph, The Daily and more have given plenty of predictions as to who should step in as Dior’s creative director, and Vogue UK is reporting that bookies in Britain are taking bets about the brand’s successorin case you were wondering, YSL’s Stefano Pilati is currently leading the odds.

The thing that’s tricky about filling the position is this: Galliano is famous for his theatricality on the runway, as well as for his abilities as a couturier. The designer who takes over for him not only has to have an incredibly strong creative vision, he or she also must be skilled and well versed in the business of couture fashion. Not an easy task.

We’ve compiled the top ten names that come up over and over again in regards to this open gig, and we’ll tell you which are the logical choices, and which are less likely to happenand more importantly, why.

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Name: Haider Ackermann
Current gig: Haider Ackermann
Why he's a contender: The avant-garde, Colombian-born visionary is often compared to Rick Owens, and Karl Lagerfeld even revealed that the designer is his first choice to replace him when he retires from Chanel in a couple of years. However, this morning Fashionista reported a rumor that Ackermann might soon head over to Givenchy, which seems like it would be a good fit—his designs might be a bit too Belgian-inspired and dark for a house like Dior.

Name: Giambattista Valli
Current gig: Giambattista Valli
Why he's a contender: A red carpet favorite, Valli's collections definitely bring the drama that audiences have grown to know and love at Dior. His clothes are feminine, voluminous and incredibly luxurious, a trifecta that would surely please the Dior customer.

Name: Stefano Pilati
Current gig: YSL
Why he's a contender: You've all heard the rumors about Pilati being ousted from YSL, and according to The Telegraph, "he would bring Dior the perfect measure of femininity, but with a more minimal touch." However, YSL's PR is standing firm that Pilati isn't going anywhere, so perhaps such a large move isn't in store.

Name: Riccardo Tisci
Current gig: Givenchy
Why he's a contender: He's been with Givenchy since 2005, which is under the same umbrella company as Dior, LVMH. According to Daily Front Row, "Tisci's haute couture sensibilities—and the increasingly glowing reviews of his couture collections shown biannually in Paris—make him the most qualified candidate for Dior." The Daily also points out that Givenchy's RTW and accessories business is significantly smaller than Dior's, which might prove daunting for Tisci.

Name: Alber Elbaz
Current gig: Lanvin
Why he's a contender: Very few designers do gorgeous, feminine womenswear like Elbaz, and his aesthetic surely would fit right in at Dior. When it comes to his talents, New York Magazine really says it best: "[he] is frequently lauded for his technical skill and innate sense of what women want to wear."

Name: Kate and Laura Mulleavy
Current gig: Rodarte
Why they're contenders: The Telegraph's Hilary Alexander thinks that these brilliant womenswear designers would be perfect for the job. They certainly have the couture sensibility, and their clothes all have a theatrical, handmade quality. She refers to a video that The Telegraph filmed during New York Fashion Week, where Anna Wintour says that the Mulleavys have the potential to be the next Galliano—and it was Wintour who suggested Galliano for his gig at Dior.

Name: Hedi Slimane
Current gig: None
Why he's a contender: This seems to be the wild card of the bunch, since he has menswear experience at Dior Homme and YSL, but none in the realm of womenswear. However, rumors have been circulating for some time that Slimane is looking to break back into fashion design—for women, specifically—and since he isn't currently tied down at a fashion house, filling the Dior spot would be a relatively easy move.

Name: Christian Lacroix
Current gig: None
Why he's a contender: Lacroix opened his own couture house in 1987, and though he eventually introduced ready-to-wear, his eponymous label was never able to turn a profit—the house shuttered in 2009. However, when it comes to haute couture, there are very few who did it better than Lacroix, whose unabashedly theatrical (and expensive) gowns consistently garnered critical praise.

Name: Jean Paul Gaultier
Current gig: Jean Paul Gaultier
Why he's a contender: This couturier still designs for his eponymous label, but recently left his stint as creative director at Hermés, so taking on another project doesn't seem too far out of bounds. JPG certainly has a flair for drama, which would be perfect for Dior, and he also has the reputation of being French fashion's enfant terrible—which really wouldn't be too much of a change from Galliano, now would it?

Name: Marc Jacobs
Current gigs: Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton
Why he's a contender: The Daily considers Jacobs to be one of the top choices, mainly due to his success in the category of accessories, both at Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs. Though this move would be within the umbrella company of LVMH, the transition to such a traditional, archive-based house like Dior might be a challenge for Jacobs, since he might not be able to execute his very strong vision exactly how he wants to.

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