Dolce & Gabbana apologizes for 'racist' ad

Chinese shopping websites boycott Dolce & Gabbana, Fashion News & Top Stories

Chinese shopping websites boycott Dolce & Gabbana, Fashion News & Top Stories

The luxury fashion brand came under fire this week for a Chinese social media campaign depicting an Asian model trying to eat Italian food with chopsticks.

The high-fashion brand faces a growing storm in China after a video campaign it made was criticised as racist and insensitive, and incendiary messages purportedly from co-founder Stefano Gabbana's Instagram account went viral.

The situation got much worse when Instagram screenshots surfaced of cofounder Stefano Gabbana making racist comments about Chinese people (the company insists his account was hacked).

It was posted on the brand's official Weibo account - the popular Twitter-like social media platform in China - where the company has close to one million followers.

Amidst this furore, D&G had to postpone its Shanghai fashion show, The Great Show, as celebrities Zhang Ziyi, Chen Kun, Li Bingbing and singer Karry Wang Junkai declined to attend the show.

She also posted the following image, which translates to "you dropped your shit, I'm returning it to you", according to Shanghaiist.

"We are sorry for the impact and harm these untrue remarks have had on China and the Chinese people", it said.

He added: "We've always been very insane about China, we've visited it a lot".

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Dolce told The Associated Press in an email interview before the controversy erupted that the designers had planned an "homage to China, to celebrate the country, and at the same time, to tell our story and love for fashion".

Chinese e-commerce firm Yangmatou has taken 58,000 Dolce & Gabbana products off its site, saying "the motherland is more important than anything else".

Instagram account Diet Prada, known for bashing the fashion industry shared the video as well as messages Stefano had exchanged with fashion writer Michaela Phuong.

Mercedes apologized earlier this year after quoting the Dalai Lama - the Tibetan spiritual leader who's seen as a threat by Beijing - in a China-focused Instagram post. As she flirts with the camera, a male narrator asks: "Is it too big for you?" A duty-free shop at the Haikou Meilan airport on China's Hainan island announced on social media that it had pulled all the company's products. "What happened today was very unfortunate not only for us but also for all the people who worked day and night to bring this event to life".

"Improper comments that insult China from the so-called famous designer of an internationally famous brand have really ruined our mood", said protestor Edward Gu, who claims to work for a modelling and talent agency.

The situation highlights some of the challenges worldwide brands face as they try to market to Chinese shoppers and do more business in the country. The message added: "China ignorant dirty smelling mafia".

It was reported that around 5,000 global guests had been invited to the show, which was supposed to be the biggest not only in the brand's history, but the biggest among any other foreign competitors' shows in China.

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