Returning from his public fall from grace, fashion designer John Galliano is set to expand his repertoire in his new role at the design helm of Maison Margiela. The British designer will be expanding the Paris-based brand's handbag range, unveiling further menswear designs, as well as releasing a new perfume into the Margiela range.
Margiela's owner Renzo Rosso was extremely pleased with the appointment and subsequent success of John Galliano informing fashion website WWD that sales had increased by 30% since he took over as creative director, a striking increase from the 10-15% rate of growth of the preceding years.
Under the direction of Rosso, Galliano is set to expand the Margiela house in many new lucrative directions. With regards to the current ready to wear (RTW) ranges, Rosso noted that "it's really starting to fly in the stores, and that's really the best result we could want," and he is harnessing Galliano's design prowess for new ventures.
The new menswear line is pencilled in for mid-2016, whilst Galliano has already begun developing a women's perfume with the company's beauty partner L'Oreal that will be available in 2017.
With regards to accessories, the Margiela handbag line will be expanding, but Russo admitted: "We don't want to become a bag company, for sure, but with bags accounting for a little less than 10%, we are missing a lot of opportunities."
Galliano's appointment in 2014 to Maison Margiela, his first full-time role following the termination of his 15-year position at Christian Dior after his anti-Semitic outburst in 2011, was met with trepidation by some but Russo confirms that only one retailer stopped working with the design house as a result of the hire.
The clandestine design ethos created under previous creative director Martin Margiela has proved the perfect environment for Galliano to escape the public eye that he attributes to his downfall and to focus on the fashion. He declined to comment on the WWD feature, referring to the freedom within the fashion house to choose to speak to press when desired, after all Martin Margiela never gave interviews.
With his background in couture, Galliano has proved that he can translate his incredible vision into Margiela with success and Russo noted how this then naturally trickled down into the rest of the product line.
"That for me is totally new because before we just did the collection and tried to upgrade it and do something nice for the show − here it is totally the opposite," Rosso said. "Now with him, the fashion show comes first. All the rest is coming after couture. So thanks to John, I started to think and to work differently."