The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) strongly criticized a story in Wednesday’s New York Post accusing fashion designer John Galliano of dressing in Hasidic garb, saying the story was “a complete distortion” and “at worst a deliberate, malicious distortion.”
The designer, who was fired by French luxury goods company Dior for sparking outrage for his anti-Semitic outbursts, was seen “wearing a pair of baggy camouflage pants, with a baggy jacket, thick-rimmed glasses and a wool cap” as he walked the streets of Manhattan on Wednesday, The New York Post reported.
“[T]he ensemble,” according to The Post, “included curled ‘peyos’-like sidelocks, with a long, dark coat and hat,” which succeeded in igniting speculation among New Yorkers regarding the motive behind his fashion choices.
“The New York Post story is a ridiculous, absurd distortion,” asserted ADL National Director, Abraham Foxman. “There is no truth to their accusation that John Galliano was dressed in Hasidic garb, and anyone familiar with the dress of traditional Orthodox Jews should not mistake what Galliano is wearing in the photograph as ‘Hasidic garb.’ Hasidim do not wear fedora hats, pinstripe pants, blue jackets or an ascot tie.”
“This is John Galliano being John Galliano,” said Foxman. “His dress is always eccentric and his hair is always worn long. This is, at the very least, ignorance on the part of the reporters and editors at the Post, or, at worst, a deliberate, malicious distortion in an effort to sell newspapers.”
Galliano was fired from his job at Christian Dior two years ago when he was caught on video shouting, "I love Hitler" in a Parisian café.
He was convicted by a French court on charges of "public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity", receiving a suspended 6,000-euro ($8,400) fine, after apologizing and expressing remorse for his actions.
“For the past year and a half, Mr. Galliano has been on a pilgrimage to learn from and grow from his mistakes,” maintained Foxman. “Now people are trying to distort and destroy him.”
“He has spent hours with me and with others in the European Jewish community, including rabbis and Holocaust scholars, in an effort to better understand himself and to learn from his past mistakes,” Foxman added.” He is trying very hard to atone.”