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Rumor: John Galliano to Join Oscar de la Renta’s Studio in a Permanent Capacity

Image: IMAXtree

Image: IMAXtree

This morning, WWD started a rumor, saying that John Galliano may join Oscar de la Renta in some permanent capacity ("The designer is said to be in talks with de la Renta about a more permanent position at the American fashion house"), which it then immediately contradicted with a statement from de la Renta's chief executive officer, Alex Bolen: 

“As we have said before, we are deeply impressed with John’s talent and would love to find a way to work with him in the future. To date, we have not found that way.”

(To give WWD the benefit of the doubt, let's presume the trade is going off background information, which has been verified internally, but can't be printed publicly for political reasons. Still, the publication has been known to print unsubstantiated rumors as near fact — see: Dissecting the Rumors: Marc Jacobs May Leave Louis Vuitton, But There’s No Proof He’s Going to Coach.)

The former Dior designer reemerged on the fashion scene last February, when he took a temporary position as a "designer in residence" at de la Renta's studio. Since then Galliano has made a series of high profile media appearances, including sitting for an hour-long interview with Charlie Rose (at the outset of the conversation, Rose told viewers that he'd agreed to interview Galliano at the request of their close mutual friend, de la Renta) and cooperating with a probing Vanity Fair profile

Though Galliano's made it clear that he wants a second chance, and many in the fashion industry (including Vogue editor Anna Wintour and Condé Nast International CEO Jonathan Newhouse) have expressed their support, it's uncertain whether buyers and consumers would be equally responsive to items, no matter how beautiful, bearing his name on the label. 

It's worth remembering that de la Renta's reputation is one of utter respectability: the designer has dressed every American First Lady, with the exception of Michelle Obama, for the last half century; the Clinton Presidential Library in Arkansas is currently showing a retrospective of his work. When he was recently asked about Galliano on CBS This Morning, de la Renta replied in a vague, brisk way, emphasizing that he invited the former Dior designer to his studio at Wintour's request.