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Thursday May 31, 2012 10:16 am

Dior Always Planned on Replacing Galliano




Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Fashion Designers, Rumors

John GallianoFinding a new artistic director was always on the agenda for Christian Dior.

Raf Simons was appointed to the role at the fashion house last month - replacing John Galliano who was sacked in March 2011 following an anti-Semitic rant - and although Dior waited 13 months to name a new designer, during which time profits unexpectedly grew, president and chief executive Sidney Toledano said they never considered continuing without one.

"I never considered that. I always thought we absolutely needed an artistic director. They, and their charisma, are what create breakthroughs. But you make choices about how you use that. The role of artistic director for a lifestyle brand - one that implies all the aspects of life such as vacation, sports, and so on - is different from the role of artistic director in a luxury brand. [They are] a shorthand to help consumers understand the brand, and to embody it," he said.

In the aftermath of the scandal, the label was helmed by interim designer Bill Gaytten, who oversaw retail revenues increase almost 30 percent.

However, Sidney admitted having a flamboyant artistic designer wasn't necessarily a bonus and says a successful brand is more about the quality of the goods: "If [flamboyance] works for the designer, then fine, and if it feels natural. But if not, it can be counterproductive, and it is better to avoid it. In the end, luxury is judged not by whether a designer's face is on X number of posters, but by their work."

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