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Galliano Heads to Margiela

October 06, 2014 BY STEVE DOOL

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Legendary Belgian fashion house Maison Martin Margiela will soon be under the creative direction of designer John Galliano. The news comes via Renzo Rosso of Only The Brave, which acquired a majority stake in Margiela in 2002.

The announcement is notable not only because it marks Galliano's first permanent role since he was ousted at Dior after a now-infamous Anti-Semitic tirade in Paris, but also because the designer's outsize personality and trademark showmanship is seemingly at odds with the tradition of semi-anonymous talents at Margiela. Margiela himself was notoriously reclusive, and the label kept his successors' identities quiet after he retired (although, as WWD points out, those in the know were aware of designers like Christopher Booth, Matthieu Blazy and Ivana Omazic lending their talents in recent years).

It's somewhat less surprising that Rosso is a proponent of Galliano, given his personal flair for the dramatic and tastes that tend toward the lavish. This is the man who was a founder of Diesel and has business interests with Vivienne Westwood, DSquared2 and Viktor & Rolf, after all.

Rosso is hardly alone in his support of Galliano, however. Oscar de la Renta worked with him recently, as did Central Saint Martins and L'Etoile. Whether or not the Margiela customer base -- whoever those wealthy, avant garde consumers may be -- will similarly fall under Galliano's spell will remain to be seen when he makes his debut during Paris Couture Week in January.

Photo via WWD.