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Abe Foxman Defends John Galliano

Slams NY Post claim that the disgraced designer donned ‘Hasidic garb’

Stephanie Butnick
February 13, 2013

It’s a Fashion Week throwdown, and John Galliano has an unlikely ally. The New York Post reported this morning that the disgraced designer was out and about in New York City dressed as a Hasid, understandably angering members of the Jewish community.

“The provocative fashion pariah sported the ill-advised outfit — replete with long jacket, hat and curly “peyos,” or sidelocks — as he exited a friend’s Manhattan apartment en route to de la Renta’s West 42nd Street design studio,” the article stated.

As the Internet buzzed with news of Galliano’s latest gaffe, ADL National Director Abe Foxman issued a statement of his own, defending the disgraced designer:

The New York Post story is a ridiculous, absurd distortion. There is no truth to their accusation that John Galliano was dressed in Hasidic garb, and anyone familiar with the dress of traditional Orthodox Jews should not mistake what Galliano is wearing in the photograph as “Hasidic garb.” Hasidim do not wear fedora hats, pinstripe pants, blue jackets or an ascot tie.

This is John Galliano being John Galliano. His dress is always eccentric and his hair is always worn long. This is, at the very least, ignorance on the part of the reporters and editors at the Post, or, at worst, a deliberate, malicious distortion in an effort to sell newspapers.

For the past year and a half, Mr. Galliano has been on a pilgrimage to learn from and grow from his mistakes. Now people are trying to distort and destroy him. He has spent hours with me and with others in the European Jewish community, including rabbis and Holocaust scholars, in an effort to better understand himself and to learn from his past mistakes. He is trying very hard to atone.

Your move, New York Post.

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.