In the 52-year-old designer’s first interview since his 2011 firing from Dior, John Galliano recently sat down with Vanity Fair contributing editor Ingrid Sischy for a series of wide-ranging conversations ranging from the now-infamous anti-Semitic rant, to his spiral towards addiction. The unflinching portrait of fashion’s enfant terrible includes insights from Kate Moss, Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg and Anna Wintour, along with members of the Jewish community, addiction specialists and major retailers. Sischy’s interview will be available in full in the July 2013 issue of Vanity Fair. In the meantime, a preview of the piece is available here, an excerpt from which can be seen below.
“It’s the worst thing I have said in my life, but I didn’t mean it. . . . I have been trying to find out why that anger was directed at this race. I now realize I was so fucking angry and so discontent with myself that I just said the most spiteful thing I could.”
Galliano tells Sischy that he has been sober for over two years now and that theirs is the first interview he has ever given sober. Of his drinking and drug use in the years leading up to the outburst, Galliano says, “I was going to end up in a mental asylum or six feet under.”
Sischy reports that Galliano has spent the last couple of years learning about what he has to do to keep his illness at bay, facing up to what went wrong in his life, and taking certain steps to atone, including reading books on the Holocaust and Jewish history, meeting with Jewish leaders, and reaching out to members of the larger fashion community, including retailers, as part of the process of making amends and possibly returning to work.
Reflecting on his last two years of sobriety and struggles to come to terms with his words and actions, Galliano says that he knows “it sounds a bit bizarre, but I am so grateful for what did happen. I have learned so much about myself. I have re-discovered that little boy who had the hunger to create, which I think I had lost. I am alive.”