John Galliano: ‘I Didn’t Even Know What E-commerce Was Until Last Week’

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John Galliano just made a trip to New York to reopen the 57th Street Dior flagship, which was just renovated and therefore requires a few parties. (Galliano doesn't drink, but he says he likes cake.) In a most delightful long interview with WWD, ostensibly about the renovations, Galliano explains that he must spend part of his time in New York meeting with suppliers, which he won't name, in places as far-flung as Brooklyn. Though he must get treated well everywhere, being John Galliano, he likes it over there: "[I]t’s worth it because when you get there, you’re really focused and they look after you." Galliano was also enthusiastic about a young designer he wears named Paul Harnden, who will probably blow up in some capacity now that Galliano gushed over him in the story. Yet Galliano hasn't been able to track him down — a difficulty one might be tempted to attribute to Galliano's ignorance of technology.

The designer tells WWD that he "really shouldn't" have made the trip since he's working on haute couture and menswear. "But we had a great meeting yesterday in the room. I got all my men’s wear stuff on the walls and the haute couture’s on the side and then we’re on the phone," he says. "It doesn’t matter where you are now because of all this kind of machinery." One assumes "machinery" refers to the devices you wild people reading this have your hands on right now! Galliano also pontificated on this machinery as it relates to shopping.


WWD: To find the good parts and show them off?

J.G.: To find someone who knows the collection. Don’t ever go with a girlfriend! Leave her in the car park. Because she’s only shopping for herself and her boyfriend — not for you. The last person she’s thinking of is you. It’s the same thing with boyfriends. Don’t go shopping with boyfriends. They’re only thinking of themselves, too. Place your trust in the manager, the guy who knows the brand, who will tell you the story about the finish or these little loops and blah, blah, blah, blah. And choose somewhere where the light’s not too bright. And enjoy it. Enjoy!

WWD: Oh, the joys of shopping!

J.G.: Oh, retail therapy is just the best thing! You can use all that modern-day equipment and stuff, but it’s a bit cold. I like to go in.

WWD: Oh, you mean buying online?

J.G.: Online shopping — oh, no. I didn’t even know what e-commerce was until last week. I like the experience. I like to feel the fur, to smell the tweed. I like the service. I love that you go into Hermès wearing your trainers and they still say, ‘Oh Mr. Galliano, may we brush your shoes?’

But he does have a vague idea of this Twitter business.


WWD: You dance. But do you tweet?

J.G.: No, I get people to do it for me. When I was here last, I was only here for four or five days and there were 30,000 calls or whatever you call them.

WWD: Tweets.

J.G.: Yeah, there were 30,000. They had nothing to do with Dior, nothing to do with [the company] John Galliano. Just what I look like when I leave the hotel, or people had seen me in a restaurant or going to the gym. Thirty thousand! That’s a lot. I could advertise on that site. I think we need to exploit that, don’t you?

Well, if he can go from not knowing about e-commerce until a few days ago to wondering how to monetize Twitter, no wonder he's so successful.

John Galliano on Dior, Fashion and Style [WWD]