Bill Gaytten is currently the creative director of John Galliano SA, a position he has held since 2011. Born in 1960, Gaytten grew up in Cheltenham, England where his father was an architect. Thinking he would pursue a similar career, the younger Gaytten attended the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. Once there, he quickly found himself drawn into the vibrancy of London’s eclectic fashion and nightlife scene—this was the heyday of Vivienne Westwood, Boy George and Lee Bowery, after all. Taking cue from friends studying fashion at Central Saint Martins, he realized that clothing construction held more allure than building construction. Gaytten subsequently taught himself to cut and sew patterns, which soon lead to a job in 1984 as a machinist for notable British designer Sheridan Barnett. While teaching at Central Saint Martins, Barnett became aware of John Galliano and introduced Gaytten to the star student. The two young talents worked together for a short period before Gaytten accepted a job with Victor Edelstein as an assistant pattern cutter. Working closely with Edelstein allowed Gaytten the necessarily proximity to finesse his technique, in which he would draw from the codes first established by Westwood, Paul Poiret and Madeleine Vionnet to propose precise and contemporary, bias-cut silhouettes suited for London’s high society (including, at the time, Princess Diana). Years later, he serendipitously ran into Galliano as both were headed on holiday. Having both progressed through their respective careers, they opted to team up once again. Gaytten followed the designer to Paris in 1994, one year before Bernard Arnault appointed Galliano to Givenchy. By 1996, Galliano was designing for Christian Dior and Gaytten had shifted from a cutter in the “flou” atelier to a core member of Galliano’s design team. In 2011, as Galliano went on hiatus, Gaytten assumed responsibility for the maison, where he continues to oversee all the collections that bear the Galliano name. Most recently, he has been instrumental in developing a contemporary offering for men and women to complement his runway creations while reaching new and younger consumers. Gaytten considers himself a modernist who upholds the spirit of a legendary house through his appreciation for savoir-faire and his instinct for elevating the style of the street. Still today, his passion remains pattern cutting, which he considers a form of sculpture. In a way, really, Gaytten has been building all along—from the complicated structure of a dress to the identity of a global brand.