john galliano rehab

Galliano arrives at a police station in Paris. Michel Euler, AP

John Galliano is reportedly headed to rehab.

As Paris Fashion Week kicks off today, the style world is still reeling from his dismissal from the helm of Dior after a video emerged in which he uttered anti-Semitic rants.

The latest reports in the scandal say that Galliano has been persuaded to receive help for alcohol problems and will head to a rehab facility, according to The New York Times.

Suzy Menkes writes that the designer decided to seek treatment after being urged to do so by "close colleagues and friends like the supermodels Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss" and speculates that he will be headed to the Meadows in Arizona, which treated both Elton John and Donatella Versace.

Fashion editors and designers opened up to WWD about the incident.

Italian Vogue editor Franca Sozzani wrote: "I am against and I condemn any kind of racism or any behavior that shows disrespect toward any religion."

She also condemned those who filmed the designer in his drunken state: "If you are truly fighting with someone, you don't have time to pick up a mobile phone, turn on the video giggling and mockingly film what he is saying. I'm just as disgusted by these people who saw what state John was in and took advantage of the situation by trading on his name and notoriety. While I condemn John's words, I think they were said in a certain moment when he wasn't lucid. I am frightened by how quick these young people were to try to gain notoriety or money while destroying the image of a genius."

Meanwhile, Patricia Field has been attempting to garner support for the designer, sending an e-mail blast to 500 friends and blogs, reports WWD.

"People in fashion, all they do is go and see John Galliano theater every season. That's what he gives them. To me, this was the same," said Field. "But people in fashion don't recognize the farce in it. All of a sudden they don't know him. But it's OK when it's Mel Brooks' 'The Producers' singing 'Springtime for Hitler.' " Field also told the paper that Galliano was "acting out a character."

The always-opinionated Karl Lagerfeld was not quite as forgiving of his fellow designer.

"I'm furious, if you want to know. 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," Lagerfeld said. "This is what makes me crazy in that story."

"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," Lagerfeld continued. "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."



As for the Dior brand, people are confident it will weather the storm. "As we witnessed with Kate Moss' past transgressions, brands must quickly remove themselves from the negative publicity," Meg Asaro, cultural curator at brand image developer Toniq, told WWD. "Dior is a strong brand with a longstanding lineage. Therefore, it will easily rise above this speed bump in its path. Look at Martha Stewart, a brand whose identity is that much closer (to the founder) than that of John Galliano and Dior. Martha Stewart bounced back, and so will Dior -- but much quicker."

And as for Galliano, rehab is a step in the right direction, but it isn't enough. Ilaria Alber-Glanstaetten, CEO of the London branding consultancy Provenance, told WWD that the designer "needs to be extremely repentant, check himself into rehab for addiction and anger management, and lay low for a long time. It's true that a lot of people do come back from scandals, but there have not been mistakes of this kind before. Honestly, I don't know if people can stand by those who make statements of the kind that Galliano made."

In the meantime, rumors are swirling as to who will replace the acclaimed designer at Dior (fingers are pointing in the direction of Lanvin's Alber Elbaz, Balenciaga's Nicolas Ghèsquiere, Hedi Slimane, Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci, Haider Ackermann and Yves Saint Laurent's Stefano Pilati (who is the favorite among bookies).

Sources say that Dior plans to go ahead with its Fall 2011 show at a tent erected at the Musée Rodin on Friday.

Update: Read the designer's official statement.