The Story of John Galliano: Fashionable (Mis)behavior

On this day, November 28 in the year 1960, one of the most influential fashion designers in the United Kingdom was born in Gibraltar, a territory of Great Britain in the Mediterranean Sea. His name is John Galliano, a four-time winner of the British Designer of the Year.

John Galliano
John Galliano (Credit:

John Galliano was the son of a plumber and a flamenco teacher. His family moved to Great Britain when he was a child. He studied fashion design at Saint Martin’s School of Art in London and finished the course in 1984 on top of his class. After graduation, he presented his first collection which was inspired by the French Revolution and was bought right away by the exclusive fashion boutique Browns. He went on to create his own label and rented a studio space to showcase his creation. He won some financial backers but his spendthrift behavior brought him to financial ruin in 1990.

After years of struggle and intermittent fashion shows, John Galliano was appointed design head of Givenchy in 1995, becoming the first British to head a French haute couture house. After two years, he transferred to the House of Christian Dior as chief designer. There, he created some of his memorable clothings inspired by historic figures such as Napoleon and Josephine, Princess Lucretia, and the U.S. austronaut. He stayed with Christian Dior until February, 2011 when John misbehaved in a Paris bar where he allegedly made some anti-semitic comments. For this, he was suspended by the company.

In 2013, John Galliano accepted an invitation from Oscar de la Renta to help prepare the house’s collection for the New York Fashion Week. The following year, he was hired as creative director for Maison Magiela.

John Galliano received the Bristish Designer of the year in 1987, 1994, 1995, and 1997. In 2001, he was awarded as Commander of Order of the British Empire (OBE).


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