Some nasty commercial consequences may be in store for Christian Dior, the iconic fashion, fragrance and jewellery brand, despite its prompt sacking last week of John Galliano, its head fashion designer since 1997, who has recently been exposed as shouting anti-Semitic abuse in a Paris bar and saying ‘I love Hitler’.
15% of British adults who normally buy Dior products say that they intend to boycott them in the light of the controversy over Galliano’s comments, according to a YouGov survey for today’s The Sunday Times. Fieldwork was conducted online on 3-4 March among a sample of 2,413 Britons aged 18 and over. The data tables will be found at:
80% of respondents do not normally purchase Dior merchandise. Of the 20% who do, 3% have been so offended by Galliano’s anti-Semitism that they are inclined to boycott Dior in future, while 12% will not do so and 5% do not know what they will do.
The number of potential boycotters rises to 6% in London and Scotland, equivalent to 23% and 29% respectively of Dior customers there, but otherwise there are no great variations by demographic sub-groups.
The potential commercial fallout might have been even greater were it not for the fact that 52% of Britons regard this as a one-off incident, down to a single designer with personal problems and which does not reflect a more generic issue of racism in the high fashion industry.
However, although just 16% think there is more widespread racism in the industry, far more are inclined to accuse it of other difficulties. 45% consider that dysfunctional and immoral behaviour is endemic throughout the industry, whereas 34% prefer to lay the blame at the door of a few eccentric figures.