06/20/2011 06:19 pm ET | Updated Aug 20, 2011

Azzedine Alaia Was Offered Top Job At Dior, Turned It Down

The media didn't assume his name to be on the shortlist, but the Financial Times has revealed that Azzedine Alaia was indeed offered the position of creative director for Christian Dior after John Galliano's dismissal.

FT's fashion editor Vanessa Friedman wrote today, "I had heard whispers, but he just confirmed it," explaining how the longtime designer simply was not interested in taking the job, flattering as the offer was.

Alaia's refusal has nothing to do with a condemnation of Galliano and the events surrounding his firing. On the contrary, as Friedman writes:

The story of what happened with John was a sad story, he said when I asked him, and he didn't want to be part of the next chapter. And that's even before you got to the other stuff.

Alaia expressed a similar sentiment in March, telling Women's Wear Daily, "It's sad. He's a friend. It's too much: too many collections; too much pressure."

It might be that same pressure that discouraged Alaia from accepting the Dior position, as Friedman notes that the seventy one-year-old designer has been one of the industry's most outspoken critics of the modern fashion system's relentless pace.

No word on who might be more likely to accept the Dior job, although Friedman wondered aloud whether the Alaia offer might indicate Dior's openness to a more mature, seasoned designer.

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