Dior CEO discusses John Galliano at runway show

Fri Mar 4, 2011 1:59pm EST
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By Lindsay Powers

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Christian Dior CEO Sidney Toledano opened up about John Galliano's anti-Semitic statements at the company's fashion presentation Friday in France.

"What has happened over the last week has been a terrible and wrenching ordeal us all," he said to an audience of about 1,000 who gathered to watch the company's 2011-12 ready-to-wear show. "It has been deeply painful to see the Dior name associated with the disgraceful statements attributed to its designer, however brilliant he may be."

"Such statements are intolerable because of our collective duty to never forget the Holocaust and its victims, and because of the respect for human dignity that is owed to each person and to all peoples," added Toledano of Galliano, who was caught on tape saying, "I love Hitler."

"These statements have deeply shocked and saddened us all at Dior who give body and soul to their work, and it is particularly painful that they came from someone so admired for his remarkable creative talent," he went on.

Galliano also faces trial in France.

(Editing by Zorianna Kit)

<p>Sidney Toledano, Chief Executive of Dior, delivers a speech before British designer John Galliano's Fall-Winter 2011/2012 women's ready-to-wear fashion collection for French fashion house Dior during Paris Fashion Week March 4, 2011. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>