Dolce & Gabbana is facing backlash after circulating an ad campaign circulating on social media that many are calling “racist.”
As a result, the fashion house canceled its Wednesday show in Shanghai, releasing a statement on its Twitter account in an attempt to clear the air.
Instagram account @diet_prada, which acts as an unofficial watchdog for the fashion industry, shared a post with its 843,000 followers confirming the news.
You saw it here first! What an interesting few hours spent wreaking havoc on @dolcegabbana ’s ill-fated #DGTheGreatShow while sitting on our couch juuling and eating gelato (not with chopsticks) lol. Thank you to @michaelatranova @helenatranova @anthxnyxo for sharing their DMs and to all the Chinese Dieters who furiously updated us with translations by the minute. For anyone that believes their account was actually hacked, see slide #2 of Stefano reposting the same DM on his stories before shit hit the fan. Oh the irony of him loving to cry “fake news” and promptly dishing it out himself via his and the brand IG account. Check our story highlight “#DGTheShitShow” for the full recap. • #DGTheGreatShow #DGlovesChina #runway #fashionshow #cancelled #racism #dolceandgabbana #altamoda #rtw #dgmillennials #stefanogabbana #shanghai #chinese #china #wtf #dumb #lame #asianmodel #asian #dietprada
A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada) on Nov 20, 2018 at 11:01pm PST
The same Instagram account shared the fashion house’s video advertisement on Tuesday, which features a Chinese woman trying to eat a giant cannoli with a pair of chopsticks.
In the so-called instructional video, the woman fails to pick up the pastry and looks confused by the pastry on her plate. The voiceover in the video also mispronounces Dolce & Gabbana.
The account called the video “hella offensive” — and it wasn’t the only one who felt that way.
#DGlovesChina ? More like #DGdesperateforthatChineseRMB lol. In a bid to further appeal to luxury's covetable Chinese consumers, @dolcegabbana released some hella offensive “instructional” videos on the usage of chopsticks. Pandering at it's finest, but taken up a notch by painting their target demographic as a tired and false stereotype of a people lacking refinement/culture to understand how to eat foreign foods and an over-the-top embellishment of cliché ambient music, comical pronunciations of foreign names/words, and Chinese subtitles (English added by us), which begs the question—who is this video actually for? It attempts to target China, but instead mocks them with a parodied vision of what modern China is not…a gag for amusement. Dolce & Gabbana have already removed the videos from their Chinese social media channels, but not Instagram. Stefano Gabbana has been on a much-needed social media cleanse (up until November 2nd), so maybe he kept himself busy by meddling with the marketing department for this series. Who wants to bet the XL cannoli “size” innuendos were his idea? Lmao. • #dolceandgabbana #altamoda #rtw #dgmillennials #stefanogabbana #shanghai #chinese #italian #cannoli #meme #wtf #dumb #lame #chopsticks #foodie #tutorial #cuisine #italianfood #asianmodel #asian #chinesefood #dietprada
A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada) on Nov 19, 2018 at 6:39am PST
One person commented: “This is racist as f*** and D&G belong in the bin.”
Another person wrote: “It has clearly touched a nerve. This video offends me.”
Others weighed in on Twitter to express their disbelief and disgust with the fashion house.
— Rachel McArthur 🖋️ (@raychdigitalink) November 21, 2018
This is one of the 'racist' Dolce and Gabbana ad campaigns that have caused a huge backlash on Chinese social media. A number of Chinese models and celebrities have pulled out of their upcoming fashion show in Shanghai: https://t.co/Kr1d7qThyM
— Laurie Chen (@lauriechenwords) November 21, 2018
— Humphiprion (@humphreywang) November 21, 2018
To make matters worse, Stefano Gabbana, co-founder of the brand, allegedly sent messages to @diet_prada’s Michaela Tranova, slamming the “China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia.”
As @dolcegabbana prepares to mount their next runway show in Shanghai this coming evening (7:30PM) and the rest of Instagram fawns over what’s sure to be an overly lavish “love letter” to China, we’ll be wondering if we’ll see chopsticks as hair ornaments, take-out boxes as purses, or even kimonos misappropriated as Chinese costume. Time will tell. For now, we’ll let y’all simmer on this DM between Stefano and Dieter @michaelatranova (chronology is reversed in slides). Word has it that they’re still in the process of model casting (over 200 Asian girls scheduled)…wouldn’t let them walk the show if we were their agents lol. Also, curious what the Chinese government will think of their country being called shit basically…especially considering how strict they are on who to allow to enter the country on work visas based on a thorough social media background checks. • #DGTheGreatShow #DGlovesChina #runway #fashionshow #cancelled #racism #dolceandgabbana #altamoda #rtw #dgmillennials #stefanogabbana #shanghai #chinese #china #wtf #dumb #lame #asianmodel #asian #dietprada
A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada) on Nov 20, 2018 at 7:05pm PST
He has since denied he wrote the messages, claiming he was “hacked” in an Instagram post on his personal account.
A post shared by stefanogabbana (@stefanogabbana) on Nov 20, 2018 at 9:00pm PST
It is likely Gabbana will work to repair his relationship with consumers in China, where Dolce & Gabbana has outlets in 25 different cities, according to store listings. Chinese consumers constitute almost a third of the global luxury market, making up 500 billion yuan (roughly $72 billion) in annual spending, according to a 2017 McKinsey report.
This is not the first time the brand has sparked controversy. Most recently, Gabbana called Italian blogger Chiara Ferragni’s Dior wedding gown “cheap.” He also called Selena Gomez “ugly” and reportedly spoke out against gay parents adopting, which prompted a response from Elton John.
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