For many in the public eye, a drunken outburst like that made by fashion designer John Galliano in December 2010 would have been a terminal blow to reputation and career.
"I love Hitler," he told two Jewish Italian women sitting at a table in a Paris bar. "People like you would be dead today. Your mothers, your forefathers would be … dead [and] gassed."
The comments, which were filmed and circulated online, led to abrupt disgrace. Galliano was fired as creative director of Christian Dior and would go on to be prosecuted over the outburst and other racist remarks. France took away the Legion d'Honneur it awarded him in 2009.
But there are crimes against fashion and crimes against the fashion world, and when it comes to the latter, it seems, no misdemeanour is unforgivable. On Friday, it emerged that the 52-year-old Briton was to make a tentative return to the fashion establishment, undertaking a short-term placement at the studio of Oscar de la Renta in New York.
"I am grateful to Oscar beyond words for inviting me to spend time with him in the familiar surroundings of a design studio," the shamed designer said. "His support and faith in me is humbling."
De la Renta said: "John and I have known each other for many years and I am a great admirer of his talent. He has worked long and hard on his recovery and I am happy to give him the opportunity to re-immerse himself in the world … where he has been so creative."
The arrangement was reportedly brokered by Anna Wintour, the powerful magazine editor of US Vogue who is a friend of both designers and is said to have first suggested the idea.
Gibraltar-born Galliano, who grew up in south London, has not been without supporters during his exile - Kate Moss, a long-time friend, chose him to design her wedding dress. US stylist Patricia Field said his remarks were no more than "theatre".
Galliano himself blamed his behaviour on a catastrophic alcohol addiction, saying his racist insults were "not views I hold or believe in. In the video I see someone who needs help."
The US-based Anti-Defamation League, which fights against anti-Semitism, told Vogue it was content the designer had learned from his disgrace. "Individuals can change their hearts and minds as long as they demonstrate true contrition," national director Abraham Foxman said.