John and I have known each other for many years and I am a great admirer of his talent," de la Renta told the publication. "He has worked long and hard on his recovery and I am happy to give him the opportunity to reimburse himself in the world of fashion and reacclimate in an environment where he has been so creative."
After Galliano made the infamous anti-Semitic remarks in a Paris cafe in 2010, he was promptly fired from his post as the creative director of Christian Dior. He checked into rehab in Arizona and was soon brought to trial in France, where he was sentenced to 6,000 euros in fines as well as other symbolic damages. He was stripped of his legion of honor, and has lived quietly since then. He designed a dress for Kate Moss' wedding to Jamie Hince in the summer of 2011, and was rumored to be among the designers shortlisted for Diego della Valle's relaunch of Schiaparelli.
It's symbolic then, that De la Renta would be the first one to publicly re-embrace him. After the incident, other designers and editors mourned his departure as a major loss of creativity for the industry -- but defending Galliano also proved controversial. But de la Renta doesn't seem concerned about the backlash of reintroducing Galliano to the fashion world. "Everyone in life deserves a second chance, especially someone as talented as John," he says. "I think that life is about forgiving and helping people.…I think John is doing all the right things.”
According to WWD, de la Renta said he would welcome Galliano's input on his upcoming collection, which will be presented during New York Fashion Week in February. “While I’m working on a collection, I sit with all of my assistants around me,” he said. “I’m not a loner. I listen to everyone. I wish the Virgin Mary would come and sit next to me. I love to be surrounded by people.”
Galliano, unsurprisingly, seems appreciative for the opportunity. “I am grateful to Oscar beyond words for inviting me to spend time with him in the familiar surroundings of a design studio,” he told the publication. “His support and faith in me is humbling.”