Firing Back

John Galliano Wins Round in Case Against Dior

The designer appeared victorious in an early round of litigation against his former employer, Christian Dior. In the hearing, it was revealed that the designer made $7.7 million annually as Creative Director of Christian Dior Couture and his own label.

Shall we call this a comeback? John Galliano, the disgraced designer who was fired from Christian Dior after anti-semetic rants in a Paris bar, is finally firing back. On Monday, he won the first round in a case against Dior in French Labor Relations Court, according to his lawyer, Chantal Giraud-van Gaver of Coblence & Associés. The court ruled that it was fit to hear the designer’s claims against his dismissal from Dior in March 2011.

A lawyer for the other side, Christian Dior Couture, argued that the case should be heard by a commercial court because of the elaborate contracts held between the house at the designer. That lawyer, Jean Néret of Jeantet Associés, argued that Galliano should be viewed as an independent contractor of the company, rather than as an employee.

During the trial, the intricacies of Galliano’s salary were detailed. According to WWD, he earned a fixed gross annual salary of 1 million euros (around $1.3 million) at Christian Dior Couture, as well as $906,400 in “variable compensation,” a wardrobe budget of 30,000 euros (about $38,850), and a grooming budget of $77,700 for personal appearances. And that was just Dior: Galliano also operated his own namesake brand, where he apparently earned a fixed gross salary of 2 million euros (roughly $2.6 million) and a separate clothing budget of 70,000 euros (or $90,650). In addition, Galliano got paid separately as a consultant for Christian Dior Couture and Parfums Christian Dior on creative matters like ad campaigns, runway shows, and Websites.

When asked if the sum of 6 million euros – or $7.77 million – was accurate for his salary, Giraud-van Gaver reportedly said: “If you add it all up, then probably yes, because if you are earning more than 3 million euros a year and you add severance pay on top, it quickly adds up.”

Dior reportedly has 15 days to contest the ruling. If it opposes, the case will go to the court of appeals in seven to nine months. Galliano, meanwhile, has been in residence at Oscar de la Renta’s studio in New York, presumably helping the designer on his upcoming collection for New York Fashion Week.