John Galliano is continuing to build bridges with the Jewish community, and in May will speak at the first session of Connect, a series of events held by a number of London synagogues to explore the idea of fashion. Galliano will be the keynote speaker at the May 28 event, and is set to take part in a panel discussion on the theme. In a statement posted on Central Synagogue London’s Web site, the synagogues described the event as “conversations combining culture and community.” Galliano will join speakers who include Maureen Kendler of the London School of Jewish Studies and Rabbi Sam Taylor of the Western Marble Arch synagogue.
The designer has an established connection with the Central synagogue, as Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and chief executive officer of Condé Nast International, introduced him to the synagogue’s Rabbi Barry Marcus as part of Galliano’s rehabilitation following the 2011 scandal over his racist and anti-Semitic comments. That outburst led to Galliano being dismissed from Dior and his own Galliano label. In January he made his debut as creative director for Maison Margiela, when he presented his first Artisinal couture collection for the label during the men’s collections in London.