Galliano agreed to grant his first interview since 2011 to Vanity Fair's Ingrid Sischy, posing for an accompanying photo spread by Annie Leibovitz. Despite his previous reticence, including a refusal to address his past in a class at Parsons, Galliano gets surprisingly candid with Sischy. In a preview released by Vanity Fair, the designer addresses the "I love Hitler" comments that got him fired from Dior:
"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."
Like many of his supporters, Galliano connects his comments to his alcoholism and drug addiction. "I didn't need alcohol for any of that," he tells Sischy. "At first alcohol was like a crutch outside of Dior. Then I would use it to crash after the collections. I'd take a couple of days to get over it, like everyone. But with more collections, the crash happened more often, and then I was a slave to it."
Eventually, Galliano says, "I was going to end up in a mental asylum or six feet under."
What did happen: In February 2011, he was arrested for allegedly attacking a couple in Paris and using anti-Jewish insults, in addition to making comments like "I like Hitler" in a separate incident, caught on tape. He was fired from his post as creative director of Dior as well as at his eponymous label, and he slunk out of sight and into recovery for nearly two years.
But over time, Galliano started to inch his way back into the industry. He was spotted in July 2012 dining with Anna Wintour at the Ritz in Paris, and in January 2013, he was invited by Oscar de la Renta to help design in his studio. In April 2013, Parsons confirmed that Galliano would be teaching a three-day master class for design students. (The class ended up being cancelled before it could happen.)
This new Vanity Fair interview, rumored for nearly a month, is seen by some as the final move of Galliano's steady comeback. It remains to be seen, however, whether his newfound willingness to talk and apologize will earn him back his spot at the top.
Read more from the sneak peek at VanityFair.com, and get the whole article when the July issue drops in New York and Los Angeles on June 6 and nationally on June 11.
A look back at Galliano's style: