Christian Dior chief executive Sidney Toledano’s speech ahead of the Christian Dior show:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Since its founding by Monsieur Dior, the House of Christian Dior has lived an extraordinary and wonderful story and has had the honor of embodying France’s image, and its values, all around the world.
What has happened over the last week has been a terrible and wrenching ordeal for us all.
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.
These statements have deeply shocked and saddened 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.
So now, more than ever, we must publicly re-commit ourselves to the values of the House of Dior.
Christian Dior founded his House in 1947.
His family had been ruined in the Crash of 1929 and his own beloved sister had been deported to Buchenwald. In the aftermath of the dark years of the war, he sought to free women, to give them back their sparkle and joyfulness.
Christian Dior’s values were those of excellence in all that he undertook, of elegance and of craftsmanship reflecting his unique talent. His mission was not only to make his clients — indeed all women — more beautiful, but also to make them happy, to help them dream. He saw himself as a magician who could give women confidence and make them ever more feminine, more sublime. He believed in the importance of respect and in the capacity of this fundamental value not only to bring out the beauty in women, but also to bring out the best in all people.
His values, his genius and his legacy have contributed to enhancing France’s image and culture around the world for more than sixty years.
The values that Monsieur Dior taught us are unchanged today. Those values are carried on by the wonderful and diverse group of people within the House of Dior who devote all their talent and energy to achieving the ultimate in artisanship and femininity, respecting traditional skills and incorporating modern techniques.
The heart of the House of Dior, which beats unseen, is made up of its teams and studios, of its seamstresses and craftsmen, who work hard day after day, never counting the hours, and carrying on the values and the vision of Monsieur Dior.
What you are going to see now is the result of the extraordinary, creative, and marvelous efforts of these loyal, hardworking people.