The trial for fashion’s most recent bad boy, John Galliano, for "public insults based on the origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity," got a date today . On June 22, the former Christian Dior designer and the story of his anti-semitic rants will hit a courtroom — and become just one in a long history of scandals that have rocked the fashion industry. Below are some of the top troubling moments in recent history. Galliano faces up to six months in prison and fines up to $31,000 if he is convicted.
1. Le Smoking, Le Similar
Yves Saint Laurent made men’s tuxedos for women — aka Le Smoking — famous when he first created the look in 1966. When American designer Ralph Lauren introduced a tuxedo dress that resembled YSL’s original, YSL felt compelled to file suit in the French courts, charging counterfeiting and disloyal competition in 1994. The company actually won the suit, and was awarded $395,090 from Ralph Lauren.
However, the French Tribunal de Commerce, a commercial court, awarded Lauren $87,720 in a defamation suit Lauren brought against Pierre Berge, the then chairman of Yves Saint Laurent, for comments Berge made against Lauren in WWD, charging that he had “ripped off “ the design.
2. Cocaine Kate
She was hardly more than a gorgeous child when she was “discovered” while traveling through John F. Kennedy airport at age 14. After seeing her come of age in front of the cameras for Calvin Klein, Burberry, Chanel and more, what was left of her innocence disappeared in 2005 when the London Daily Mirror caught her cutting and snorting cocaine with then boyfriend, bad boy rocker Pete Doherty. It seemed as though that was going to be the last of the original waif model and mother of a then-two-year-old, as clients H&M, Burberry and Chanel canceled or let her contracts expire. However, after a stint in rehab, this looker rose like a Phoenix from the ashes of her prior modeling career, inking deals with TopShop and Longchamp to design, laughing all the way to the bank.
4. Anand Jon's many accusations
Indian fashion designer Anand Jon was known for two things — the party-like atmosphere of his fashion shows and for always having a gorgeous woman or two on his arm. In 2007, this jet-setting lifestyle came to a grinding halt when he was arrested in Los Angeles on charges of rape. At one point, there were 59 counts filed against this lothario by some 20 women, but it was ultimately whittled down to 25 counts with nine victims. The trial was a revolving door of young, wanna-be models describing tales of mistreatment and abuse at the hands of Jon. He ultimately was found guilty of 14 felonies and 2 misdemeanors and sentenced to 59 years in jail.
5. The murder of Gianni Versace
In the late 1990s, Italian designer Gianni Versace was at the top of his game. He was rivaling Giorgio Armani for the spot of most well-known Italian designer in the world and had the celebrity following to show for it. Elton John, Madonna, Princess Diana, Eric Clapton and more were all considered friends of the house. In July 1997, after showing his men’s collection in Milan, the designer decamped to Casa Casuarina, his mansion on Ocean Drive in Miami’s South Beach for a vacation. On the morning of 15th, after taking a morning stroll to the News Café for some magazines, Versace was shot and killed by Andrew Cunanan, who had been on a multi-state killing spree. Less than a week later, Cunanan killed himself on a Miami Beach houseboat, without any word of explanation as to why he shot the fashion designer. His sister Donatella has since taken on the role of designer at Versace, and while she has had her own problems with addiction and recovery, continues in this role today.
6. Boys will be boys
Fashion designers are no different from regular guys, especially when it comes to bar brawls and other unsavory bits of behavior. In 2003, Calvin Klein meandered onto the court during a New York Knicks game, seemingly to engage Latrell Sprewell in some sort of conversation. The game was forced to a halt, while the designer was swept off the floor. He later entered rehab for substance abuse “to resume a healthy lifestyle.” In 2009, Jack McCollough, half of the Proenza Schouler design duo, accidently jostled “24” star Kiefer Sutherland while he was speaking with Brooke Shields at the Mercer Hotel after the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala. Sutherland allegedly lost his temper and head-butted the designer, breaking McCollough’s nose. The pair ultimately made up and no charges were pressed. And then there’s Tommy Hilfiger — the all–American designer made an un-American show of bar aggression toward rocker Axl Rose at the Plumm in 2006, throwing the first punch in a short altercation that made all the papers. The whole thing turned out to be a misunderstanding, Hilfiger explained in 2010, and now the two are friends.
3. Naomi Campbell, let us count the charges
This model, one of the most supreme of the supes, definitely has a way with her workers, and let’s just say she will not be named “Boss of the Year” anytime soon. From 1998 to 2006, Campbell was charged five times with assaults against employees. In 2008, she was banned from flying British Airways after she was arrested for allegedly spitting at a police officer. She’s gone through anger management treatments and served her hours upon hours of community service. Since 2008, she’s been laying low as the girfriend of Russian real estate entrepreneur Vladislav Doronin, and seemingly keeping her anger in check.
7. So that’s how he does it
Each fashion week in New York, designer Marc Jacobs completely takes over the Armory at 26th and Lexington for his Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs fashion shows, effectively taking that venue off the market to other designers for the 10-day period. For years, many have wondered how he could have cornered this venue and then in 2008 the truth came out — the designer’s company was making under-the-table payments to the building’s superintendent. From 2000 through 2007, state officials said, Marc Jacobs International paid the super, James Jackson, more than $35,000 in cash and goods including a Bowflex machine for access and preferential treatment. Jackson ultimately pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny charges while Jacobs agreed to pay $1 million in a settlement and to allow a private company to review its fashion show operations for two years and report back to the state’s Attorney General. And yes, Jacobs still holds his shows in this space.
8. Corpulent Karl no more
When Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld unveiled his over-90-pound weight loss in 2004, the rumors of just how he did it ran rampant. The strangest scuttlebutt: that he subsisted on horsemeat, tomatoes and Diet Coke alone. However when he published a diet book with Dr. Jean-Claude Houdret, the truth was not much better. The recipes in this tome included odd combinations like tuna and blackberry mousse or calf's liver with wild strawberries. As for the horsemeat, Houdret suggested that Lagerfeld replace all meat in his diet, except horsemeat, with fish. Whether Lagerfeld actually ate the odd protein choice has never been confirmed.
9. Dov Charney, where to start …
When Dov Charney burst onto the scene with his American Apparel in 2003, it seemed to be a too-good-to-be-true company. The premise was simple — great T-shirts, all manufactured in air conditioned factories in California by people that received benefits and humane treatment. Then word started trickling out that Charney’s habits with those who worked directly with him were not so above-board. The sexually-charged imagery he used to market the company set the tone in his office, and soon waves of sexual harassment suits hit — at least four since the company started — topped by a most recent wave of four in early 2011. That’s just the tip of the iceberg for this troubled business that has racked up losses of more than $20 million in the first quarter of this year alone.
10. The sky is falling
The fashion show in her West Village home went off without a hitch and Diane von Furstenberg was taking her “victory lap” down the catwalk when all went horribly awry in September 2005. A heavy metal frame holding equally heavy, and ultra hot, lights tipped and fell into the audience of editors and special guests. A couple of editors were injured and received flowers from DvF, while one, Karen Hanes de Larrain, was still seeking compensation as late as 2010 from von Furstenberg’s insurance company. This was not unlike a show Michael Kors put on in the early 1990s in a raw loft space in New York’s Midtown. Midway through the show, chunks of plaster fell from the ceiling onto guests. The Kors incident served as impetus to get the 7th on Sixth tent venues organized; both designers now hold their shows at Lincoln Center.
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