Just yesterday (21st November), popular Italian luxury fashion house Dolce & Gabbana (aka D&G), came under fire after a controversial ad promoting their upcoming show in Shanghai surfaced.
The advertisement, which featured a Chinese model attempting to eat Italian food like pizza, a giant cannoli, and pasta with a pair of chopsticks, garnered a lot of flak for stereotyping Chinese people. Popular fashion Instagram account that often calls out designers who “knock each other off” @diet_prada criticised D&G’s ad, calling them out for depicting the Chinese as “a tired and false stereotype of a people lacking refinement/culture to understand how to eat foreign foods.”
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#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
Due to the immense amount of backlash, Dolce & Gabbana removed the ads from social media. However, the damage was already done as the videos were reuploaded and already began circulating on Chinese social media along with the hashtag #BoycottDolce.
If things didn’t look bad enough already, the situation escalated even further when an Instagram DM conversation between co-founder of D&G Stefano Gabbana, and fashion writer Michaela Phuong, surfaced online.
In the conversation, Gabbana defended the fashion house’s campaign and began making racist and demeaning comments about China and its people.
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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
This exchange understandably caused more outrage, resulting in some of the country’s biggest celebrities like Zhang Ziyi to boycott D&G.
The fashion label then took to Instagram to inform their followers that their account as well as Stefano Gabbana’s, were allegedly hacked, much to many netizens’ disbelief. They also issued an apology not long after that but the damage was already done. Do you think their accounts were really hacked?
Models and other prominent Chinese celebrities soon bowed out of the Shanghai fashion show, swearing never to purchase anything from Dolce & Gabbana again and the show was eventually cancelled. This show was meant to be the label’s biggest promotional event of the year.
What are your thoughts on this controversy? Let us know in the comments below!
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