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At the trial, the once prideful designer humbly explained he had a “triple addiction” _ to alcohol, barbiturates and sleeping pills _ and said he recalled nothing. He said he was sorry for “the sadness that this whole affair has caused.”

In testimony before the court in proceedings in June, Galliano said he didn’t recall anything.

Where Galliano had showmanship and flair _ sometimes outrageous _ Simons tends to be more restrained. He took the helm at Jil Sander when the faltering label was looking for a designer who could push the line further without abandoning the minimalist trademark of the founder, who had since left the company.

Simons began with a black and white womenswear collection. His evolution there culminated several seasons ago in a burst of color that dazzled the fashion world.

The winter 2013 show, presented on the fourth day of Milan Fashion Week on Feb. 25, was his last as creative director for the label. It was feminine and soft.

Simons has much support in the industry. His designs have increasingly becoming a bellwether for trends. Lately, his clothes gained support in fashion magazines, and the Jil Sander show became a must-have ticket during the Milan Fashion Week.

Still, he doesn’t have the celebrity of a Galliano, and Jil Sander didn’t have as broad an audience to please as does Dior. It will be the trick for Simons to balance exciting, fashion-forward design with global appeal that will find its place on red carpets and in department stores.


Fashion writer Samantha Critchell in New York contributed to this report.