Bernard Arnault on Choosing John Galliano’s Successor

kate winslet
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LVMH President Bernard Arnault discusses John Galliano's successor.

It won’t be Azzedine Alaïa, it might be Riccardo Tisci, Bill Gaytten, or Antonio Marras. In the guessing game of who will take over at Dior, only one thing is certain: LVMH’s lips are sealed.

Newsweek profiled Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of the luxury fashion conglomerate, in this week’s issue, and while he wouldn’t say who was being considered for the gig, he did give some insight into the recruiting process.

“I think we have the equivalent of the Vienna Philharmonic,” Arnault told writer Robin Givhan. “From time to time, the Vienna Philharmonic could play without a conductor because they are so good. But that cannot last forever. We want to [make] the best choice for the house and find the best conductor.”

The statement seems to imply that Gaytten, John Galliano’s former right-hand man who has been leading the label in the absence of the “best conductor,” won’t be the man for the job. That said, Arnault says it’s the behind-the-scenes people who are “sustaining the house.”

“A lot of schools produce designers, but the technical people—this is what we have to protect,” he said. “They work very hard here, and they live outside of Paris. They are not living like the designer. They are simple people. Some of them have a difficult life. They have their feet on the ground.”

That’s in stark contrast to Galliano, who Arnault says he has not forgiven yet for the anti-Semetic rant that got him ousted from the houses of Dior and John Galliano. “I’m surprised that I did not get a call or a word of excuse from him,” he said. “After all that I did for him?”

In related news, check out the latest couture collection from the house of Dior.