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Karl Lagerfeld Is "Furious" with John Galliano for the "Harm" He Did to Dior, Bernard Arnault's "Favorite Label"

Karl Lagerfeld Is "Furious" with John Galliano for the "Harm" He Did to Dior, Bernard Arnault's "Favorite Label"

>> In her story on John Galliano yesterday, Cathy Horyn wrote of the designer, "In his knowledge of fashion, he was rivaled only by Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel . . ." Spurred by rivalry or not, Lagerfeld has come out completely clear about his thoughts on the Galliano scandal — and these aren't words of support.

“I’m furious, if you want to know," Lagerfeld told WWD. "I’m furious that it could happen, because the question is no longer even whether he really said it. The image has gone around the world. It’s a horrible image for fashion, because they think that every designer and everything in fashion is like this. This is what makes me crazy in that story."

Lagerfeld continues: "The thing is, we are a business world where, especially today, with the Internet, one has to be more careful than ever, especially if you are a publicly known person. You cannot go in the street and be drunk — there are things you cannot do. I’m furious with him because of the harm he did to LVMH and [chairman and CEO] Bernard Arnault, who is a friend, and who supported him more than he supported any other designer in his group, because Dior is his favorite label. It’s as if he had his child hurt.”

Insiders confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that Dior has always been Arnault's pet project — it was the first fashion house he bought when getting into the luxury industry in the '80s — despite the fact that the label didn't begin to turn a profit until 2002 (Galliano joined as creative director in 1996). He has continued to pour money into the brand, which still struggled to improve its bottom line under Galliano: its current sales of €826 million ($1.14 billion) and operating margin of 4.2 percent lag far behind that of LVMH's crown jewel Louis Vuitton, with its estimated €5.5 billion in sales and 45 percent operating margin.

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