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Racial remarks or an Instagram hack: Is this the final nail in the coffin for Dolce & Gabbana?

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Let’s be real, it’s not like none of us saw this coming but Stefano Gabbana has brought yet another controversy upon Dolce & Gabbana.

This time, he reportedly made a series of slurs about Chinese people over a private conversation on Instagram.

Here’s a breakdown of what happened:

It all began when the Italian fashion house launched their #DGLovesChina campaign.

 

As part of the campaign, Dolce & Gabbana posted a condescending 3-part video series to their Instagram page teaching Chinese people how to eat Italian food with chopsticks.

Not only were their tips incredibly dumb but also quite frankly degrading.

According to digital publication Jing Daily, which covers luxury consumer trends in China, the videos made “big mistakes in tone and taste”

Clearly everyone on the entire D&G team completely failed to see how unacceptable and damaging this whole campaign was before it was too late.

Then, all hell broke loose when alleged screenshots were leaked on @diet_prada’s instagram of Stefano Gabbana referring to Chinese people as “Dirty smelling mafias”.

 

In a statement given to BoF, Diet Prada founders, Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler said, “We’re in constant contact with our Dieters and they’re on pretty high alert for Stefano Gabbana’s antics,”

“A lot of the topics we post can be pretty niche, which is great, but this is overt racism on a massive global scale that’s hard to ignore.”

Following the leak, the brand immediately released a state in which they claimed to have had their official account, and the account of Stefano Gabbana, hacked.

A whole host of Chinese elite were due to sit front row at the Shanghai presentation entitled, “The Great Show”, which was scheduled to take place on Wednesday.

But as the news of this latest controversy broke, both models and attendees began to pull out.

It has since been reported that the brand were forced to cancel the presentation by local government authorities, however this is yet to be confirmed.

In a statement D&G said, “Our dream was to bring to Shanghai a tribute event dedicated to China which tells our history and vision”

“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.”

Today, both Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have issued an apology in which they ask for the forgiveness of Chinese people across the world.

 

But this isn’t the first time that the pair have caused controversy with their remarks.

From referring to babies conceived by in vitro fertilisation as “synthetic”, to refusing to support the right of gay parents to adopt, the brand have been labelled on social media as, “cancelled” many times before.

So could this instance be the final nail in the coffin for D&G?

According to Bain and Company, Chinese consumers account for an estimated 33 percent of global luxury goods spend.

Thus, alienating this entire market could have grave commercial consequences for the brand.

Regardless of the financial and commercial repercussions for the brand, as an Asian, I personally find it incredibly disheartening to read what Stefano has allegedly said.

It baffles me that people can say such negative things about a group of people based upon their racial background

Only time will tell but here’s hoping that this time the boycotts don’t phase out because it’s probably just a matter of time before Stefano Gabbana proceeds to attack another community.

 

Words by Aditi Rane

Edited by Holly Harper

Holly and Eleanor are your fashion editors

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