As numerous fashion bigwigs leap to John Galliano's defense, Karl Lagerfeld — the rare sort of designer in the same league as Galliano in terms of talent and fashion influence — takes a very different stance. He tells WWD:
"I’m furious, if you want to know. I’m furious that it could happen, because the question is no longer even whether he really said it. The image has gone around the world. It’s a horrible image for fashion, because they think that every designer and everything in fashion is like this. This is what makes me crazy in that story. The thing is, we are a business world where, especially today, with the Internet, one has to be more careful than ever, especially if you are a publicly known person. You cannot go in the street and be drunk — there are things you cannot do... I’m furious with him because of the harm he did to LVMH and [chairman and ceo] Bernard Arnault, who is a friend, and who supported him more than he supported any other designer in his group, because Dior is his favorite label. It’s as if he had his child hurt."
This may be the strongest statement against Galliano since Dior face (and new Oscar winner!) Natalie Portman denounced him. Karl has a point: Plenty of people in fashion and the public eye drink and don't get caught saying anti-Semitic things to a video camera. If your friend's significant other gets drunk and cheats on your friend, do you really tell your friend the booze was a good excuse and she should give him a second chance? While Galliano's alleged anti-Semitic remarks of last Thursday remain just that — alleged — there is no excuse for the disturbing video of him expressing his affection for Hitler.