With the fashion weeks almost here again, it's time to return to that nearly year-old question of just what Dior plans to do with itself. John Galliano was fired from the label on March 1 of last year, coupled with a stinging admonishment from Natalie "Best Actress" Portman, following his painfully publicized anti-Semitic outbursts. The collections Galliano's right-hand man Bill Gaytten have been overseeing have drawn reactions as varied as shrugs and derision, and yet financial figures at Dior are fabulous. The brand announced a few months ago that sales for the first three quarters were up 27 percent from the same period a year ago.
So do they even need a replacement for Galliano? Fashion people seem to agree that yes, they do.
While Chanel suits continued to sell well after Coco Chanel's death in 1971, "in creative terms the house was at a standstill until the arrival of Karl Lagerfeld 12 years later," proclaims the AFP.
"You can manage without a designer for a season or two," argued Serge Carreira, a luxury sector expert and teacher at Sciences Po university in Paris. "But there is a limit, a brand must be regularly refreshed, renewed."
Experts say certain strengths of the Dior brand were in place well before Galliano left, such as great marketing campaigns for the Lady Dior handbag and J'Adore perfume, which sell quite well, thanks in part to the very varied assets of its stable of actress-models:
Charlize Theron offers a "glamorous ultra-femininity", Natalie Portman a "more consensual femininity", Marion Cotillard brings "classy, French sophistication" and the American Mila Kunis a touch of youth.
But of course these women cannot shoulder the burden of making sure we talk about and buy Dior things forever. Because eventually someone with a Big Important Vision will need to help pick new actresses to replace them, and disrupt the Dior-buying public's comfort with the status quo, which critics and the industry, a quickly bored set, certainly don't want to tolerate for much longer. Raf Simons, the most recent front-runner, says he has "nothing to say" about the rumors he's currently closer to taking over the house than any other designer (a position Marc Jacobs was also in — so, you know, grain of salt). But if Chanel lasted so long without a head designer, why can't Dior do the same? Why rush into a decision if sales are strong and no heir feels apparent? If they managed to muddle through just fine this past year, why rush a decision to replace the person who, to many, is irreplaceable?
Speaking of Galliano, he's disappeared to a place where even the paparazzi can't find him. But let's face it, that could easily just be a Vogue photo studio where he's preparing a fabulous portrait to go with a tell-all.
Most Viewed Stories
Everything We Know About Brad Pitt’s Plane Incident
It’s Time to Get Over Your White Feelings and Start Taking Action for Black Lives
25 Famous Women on Being Alone
Jaden Smith on the Many Subtle Flavors of Water
Kim Kardashian Might Vote for Donald Trump
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
If You See Brad Pitt As a Fallen Hero, It’s Because the Rules Have Changed
Kylie Jenner’s Getting Sucked Into Tyga’s Debt Problems
Taylor Swift’s Squad Begged Kim Kardashian for Mercy
Bask in the Glory of This Dramatic Email Sent to a UCLA Freshman by Her Future Roommate
From Our Partners
Who What Wear
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Fashion FeaturesCiara's Wedding Dress Was Too Big for the Chapel
To be fair, it was a 13 foot-long dress.You and Rihanna Will Both Want to Invest in Dior’s New Bag
It's got something for everyone.Polo Shirts Have Turned Their Back on Ryan Lochte
Along with his other major sponsors.Ryan Lochte Will No Longer Be Paid to Wear Tiny Bathing Suits
Speedo remains committed to transparency.Laura Brown Is the New Editor-in-Chief of InStyle
After 11 years at Harper’s Bazaar.Tyra Banks Is Going to Teach a Class on Smizing at Stanford
"If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them."This Floating Pier Is the Most Zen Installation Ever
Walking on water in Italy.Nation Is Appalled by Matt Lauer’s Nude Ankles During Ryan Lochte Interview
What’s the opposite of “Jeah”?8 People at the Life of Pablo Pop-up Explain Why Kanye West Is a God
"I mean, Kanye West is just Kanye West. There's not more or less you can say about Kanye West. He's just Mr. West!"A T-shirt Is Enough
Simplicity, versatility, and cool. What more could you want?
She took a perfect pencil dive off a 30-foot yacht.American Apparel Is Being Sued by Former Workers
As the company considers putting itself up for sale.A Gendered History of the Tailored Suit
From Marlon Brando to Coco Chanel.How Zendaya Developed Such Great Style at the Young Age of 19
The star's best looks from Disney to now.Proof That If You’re Chic Enough, a Little Federal Investigation Doesn’t Matter
Is this the best they could do?5,300-Year-Old Mummified Iceman Probably Would’ve Been a Street-Style Star
He had several different looks and was “pretty picky.”J.Crew Has Identified 226 Shades of Pink
Even more than there are shades of gray.Gigi and Bella Hadid Merch Is Now Somehow a Thing That Is Happening
Today in Hadidiana.Gird Your Loins for the Return of Yeezy to New York Fashion Week
The season approaches.This Indie Brand Had a Great Response to Ivanka Trump
When she bought one of their cuffs, they donated the proceeds to the Clinton campaign.