Galliano allowed to move case to labor court

Friday, 29 November 2013
Designer John Galliano was recently awarded the right to have the ongoing case against former employers Christian Dior Couture SA and Galliano SA, heard in labor court over a commercial court.  The Paris Court of Appeals denied the appeal filed by Dior, which requested that the case be moved to a commercial court, and ordered that the French luxury fashion house and John Galliano SA each pay the formerly disgraced designer 2,500 euros each in addition to any court costs, according to WWD. Dior and John Galliano SA have two months to appeal the courts decision.

The beginning of the ongoing case between John Galliano and Christian Dior Couture SA and his ex eponymous brand date back to 2011. In March 2011, Gaillano was formerly discharged from Dior and his own namesake brand after he made a series of anti-semitic remarks in in public in a Paris café, just before Paris Fashion week for fall/winter 2011-2012 was due to take place. Galliano had worked for over 15 years as the couturier at Christian Dior and previously was head designer at Givenchy before Bernard Arnault, founder of LVMH moved him to Dior.

Galliano claimed that the outburst of public anti-semitic insults were caused by work stress, which led to him having a number of addictions, including an drug addiction. The designer is looking for compensation of roughly 6 million euros from his previous employers

In February this year, Dior fought against the decision made by the Labor Relations Court that states it was licensed to hear Galliano's claims against Dior and his eponymous label. Christian Dior Couture SA argued that the case should be heard in a commercial court, due to the complicated and intricate details of John Galliano previous contracts with Dior and John Galliano SA.

The luxury French fashion house believes that Galliano should be seen as an “independent contractor of the companies,” instead of a employee of Dior and his namesake label and maintains that its choice to fire Galliano “as a result of these incidents is based on fundamental principles and the rule of law.” In a statement issued by Christian Dior Couture SA, the company stated that it “reaffirms its attachment to the rules of human respect and non-discrimination, which it expects all of its collaborators, without exception, to adhere to strictly.”

However Galliano's lawyer, Chantal Giraud-van Gaver of Colblence & Associés argues that Galliano was just another name on the pay roll, and Dior's justification to fire Galliano is not justified. She hoped that with the recent court ruling, the Labor Relations court will recognize the existence of a work contract, which is supported by “a lot of evidence and assessments of situations showing that he was a subordinate.” Giraud-van Gaver added that the recent ruling now allowed her to freedom to present the integrities of the case next year in front of the Labor Relations Court.

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