Saturday 15 December 2018

Fashion faux-pas: D&G apologises for 'racist comments'

Backlash: Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce, depicted on a pair of their designer shoes, have said sorry to the Chinese for an ad and an apparent insult. Photo: AFP/Getty
Backlash: Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce, depicted on a pair of their designer shoes, have said sorry to the Chinese for an ad and an apparent insult. Photo: AFP/Getty

Sophia Yan

The duo behind Italian designer brand Dolce & Gabbana have apologised to Chinese people to try to stall a backlash against the label after a social media campaign soured and leaked comments were deemed racist.

In a video released yesterday, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana expressed their love and respect for Chinese culture.

"Our families have always taught us to respect the various cultures of the world. We want to apologise if we have made mistakes in interpreting your culture," said Mr Dolce. "We have always loved China; we have visited many cities, and we still have much to learn."

Mr Gabbana added: "We offer our sincerest apologies to Chinese people worldwide."

The video, which ended with Mr Dolce and Mr Gabbana saying, "Apologies," in Mandarin, is the second apology issued in recent days after the brand came under fire this week.

It was criticised for three videos in an online ad campaign, featuring a Chinese model in D&G's latest designs struggling to eat Italian dishes - pizza, cannoli and spaghetti - with a pair of chopsticks. Critics said it stereotyped Chinese culture and women.

Then, leaked comments online appeared to show Mr Gabbana describing China as a "country of s***".

The brand said Mr Gabbana's individual social media accounts, and D&G's official ones, had been hacked, leading to the release of unauthorised comments.

D&G removed the videos on its Chinese social media account, but they remained on its Instagram site.

The backlash led D&G to cancel a fashion show in Shanghai next Wednesday. Retailers in China have pulled the brand's products from their shelves and websites.

Some Chinese celebrities and brand ambassadors axed their contracts with D&G. Protesters were also spotted at the brand's flagship shop in Milan.

Irish Independent

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