John Galliano born 1960 is considered one of the most influential designers of our time. Born in Gibralter, raised in London and after launching his own label became a designer for Christian Dior, Paris.

1960 Juan Carlos Antonio Galliano is born in Gibraltar.

1966 The family move to London: living in Streatham, then Dulwich. Attends Wilson’s Grammar School for Boys, then City and East London College.

1981 Enrols at St Martins School of Art to study fashion design. Discovers the Soho club scene. Works as a dresser at the National Theatre and as an assistant to the tailor Tommy Nutter.

1984 Graduates from St Martins with a first class degree. His degree show – inspired by Danton, a play he worked on at the National Theatre – is displayed in the windows of Browns. A friend, Jeremy Healy, DJed for the degree show and all subsequent Galliano shows.

1985 Starts making clothes with the cash Browns gives him for fabrics and trimmings. Collaborates with hat maker, Stephen Jones, after meeting him at the London club, Taboo. Fashion editor Amanda Grieve (later Harlech) becomes his stylist. Presents first collection, The Ludic Game, at London Fashion Week. That autumn, he shows the Fallen Angels line on which he works with cutter and long-time collaborator, Bill Gaytten.

1986 Peder Bertelsen, a Danish businessman, invests in the Galliano label.

1988 Steven Robinson comes to work for Galliano on a student placement. Galliano wins Designer of the Year for his Blanche Dubois collection.

1989 Peder Bertelsen withdraws his financial support. Galliano shows in Paris for the first time.

1991 Drained by the difficulty of funding and running a fashion business in London, Galliano moves to Paris. Still penniless, he sleeps on friends’ floors.

1993 Anna Wintour, editor of American Vogue, persuades Saõ Schlumberger, the Portuguese socialite, to lend Galliano her mansion for his fashion show. She flies him to New York and engineers a meeting with future backer, John Bult of the PaineWebber banking group. Galliano unveils the Princess Lucretia collection, inspired by the Russian princess, in the Schlumberger mansion with rose petals strewn on the floors and chandeliers.

1995 John Galliano is appointed chief designer of Givenchy, one of the fashion houses controlled by the LVMH luxury goods group.

1996 Unveils his first Givenchy couture collection at the Stade Français. After months of speculation, Galliano is named chief women’s wear designer of Christian Dior and is replaced by Alexander McQueen at Givenchy.

1997 Presents first haute couture collection for Dior at the Grand Hotel in Paris. The ground floor is a replica of Christian Dior’s late 1940s showroom on Avenue Montaigne with 791 gold chairs and 4,000 roses. “Among Couture Debuts, Galliano’s is the Stand Out” ran the headline in the New York Times.

1999 Coordinates Dior’s ready-to-wear advertising working with long-time collaborator, British photographer Nick Knight. The high profile ad campaigns, coupled with Dior’s new saddle bag, catalyses a sharp increase in sales.

2001 Awarded a CBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Resources (Design Museum)


John Galliano Eyewear is distributed by Marcolin