Designer Oscar de la Renta recently spoke about Christian Dior’s former Creative Director John Galliano, who had fallen out of grace, and personally giving him a second chance.
The 81-year-old Domincan Republic-born American designer, who cut his teeth in fashion dressing Jacqueline Kennedy in the 1960’s, appeared on “CBS This Morning” and chatted with journalist Charlie Rose.
He related to Rose why he had made his somewhat controversial decision to take Galliano under his wing at his design studio after the Dior designer’s racist anti-Semitic rant of March 2011.
“Well Anna Wintour asked me if I would have John in my studio for three weeks and I said ‘yes of course.’ I have known John for 30 years. Over 35 years,” explained de la Renta.
De la Renta added “he’s a very talented man. And who has not done at one point in their life something bad? John has had a lot of issues — health issues, abuse — but I like John. He’s a great guy and I was happy that I gave him that second chance and I hope that he will survive all of this because he is an extremely talented man.”
During that brief residency Galliano helped de la Renta prepare for his New York Fashion Week show earlier this year.
Defending himself, Galliano had spoken to WWD, saying “I am an alcoholic. I have been in recovery for the past two years. Several years prior to my sobriety, I descended into the madness of the disease. I said and did things which hurt others, especially members of the Jewish community. I have expressed my sorrow privately and publicly for the pain which I caused, and I continue to do so. I remain committed to making amends to those I have hurt.”
Speaking of de la Renta, Galliano continued, “I am grateful to Oscar beyond words for inviting me to spend time with him in the familiar surroundings of a design studio. His support and faith in me is humbling.”
Earlier this year, De la Renta wanted to be clear that the three-week residency was not going to lead to Galliano being added to his designing team as his successor if he ever decided to retire in the near future. Though he welcomes any creative input from the designer.
“While I’m working on a collection, I sit with all of my assistants around me,” de la Renta explained. I’m not a loner. I listen to everyone. I wish the Virgin Mary would come and sit next to me. I love to be surrounded by people.”
However, there is a limit to Oscar de la Renta’s forgiveness and understanding. When asked to comment on the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, de la Renta seemed to draw the line.
“I feel very, very sorry for Huma, because I think she’s a wonderful, great girl,” he said. “You know I think in life, people do deserve a second chance. A third and a fourth? I doubt it.”
Weiner, as you probably already know, wants to be the next Mayor of New York despite resigning in disgrace from Congress back in June 2011 due to the scandal.
De la Renta had designed Huma Abedin’s wedding dress when she tied the knot with Weiner back in 2010. Abedin is the former Traveling Chief of Staff for former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.