Yesterday we reacted to the news that John Galliano was suspended by Dior citing several reputable news sources such as Yahoo News and Guardian. News broke down early Friday after Thursday night incident involving John and a mixed Jewish and Asian couple. There has been a fight in a Paris bar where John, while under alcoholic influence, has made anti-Semitic and anti-Asian remarks. We closely watch the news today and here is an update.
A few more witnesses came through to protect John Galliano. According to Telegraph, among witnesses was John’s driver, who stands by John claiming that no such remarks were made and John actually got attacked by the couple first. An Asian man said something along the lines “get out of here”. And all that John said to this was “You’re ugly and your purse is ugly”.
Another witness who remains anonymous said that news are heavily exaggerated. There were no slaps or physical contact between the couple and John. There was a verbal argument and police was called to the scene. Police officers kindly asked both parties, John and the couple, to follow him to the police office. And they did in a quiet and civilized manner.
Fact that victim lady is Jewish were not yet confirmed.
John in a response to allegations has already filed a counter-claim against the couple. No apologies have been issued.
Clearly more news are still to come. Fact that Dior suspended John Galliano from his couture duties remains confirmed. Dior has issued a statement confirming the fact and stating the reason “zero-tolerance policy to anti-Semitic and anti-Racial attitude”.
I think what is most notable in this story, is that it is a first time Asians are being a target of racism involving a high profile public figures. In the last few years, while still publicly unnoticed, Chinese are a main subject in Yahoo news comment section. You see less and less anti-black remarks and more and more anti-Chinese.
Reason is clear. As China is rising, Asian consumers are gaining more power, thus are subject to jealousy. It has been already reported that they make at least 30% of direct consumer base for Gucci (including Gucci sunglasses), Luis Vuitton and Swatch. According to the study made by Proactive Investors that developing rich Chinese consumer base is around 15 years younger than fully developed American and European consumer base. This can explain the taste and need to luxurious brands. The fact that in China many of rich consumers are first and second generations rich as compared to American/European fourth or fifth, can also attribute to crave to brand name items. John Galliano brand could have become one of admired by Asian population including his heavily promoted John Galliano sunglasses.
We will be watching this story and report back to you. Stay tuned!