Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana made the news yesterday when their upcoming show in Shanghai was cancelled. The show was dubbed as “The Great Show” and have been the brand’s focus in the past few weeks, even as far as releasing a series of promotional videos on their social media platforms.
The cancellation was the culmination of racism accusations towards the brand, in particular shown in the promotional videos itself, where it depicts a Chinese model being taught how to eat Italian food with chopsticks. The videos sparked outrage, citing them for being culturally ignorant, disrespectful for the show’s host nation, stereotypical and sexist among others.
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欢迎收看Dolce & Gabbana “起筷吃饭” 第1弹。 今天我们将率先向大家展示， 如何用这种小棍子形状的餐具， 来吃意大利伟大的传统玛格丽特披萨。 Welcome to Episode 1 with Dolce&Gabbana’s “Eating with Chopsticks”. First up today is how to use this stick shaped cutlery to eat your GREAT traditional Pizza Margherita. #DGLovesChina #DGTheGreatShow
To add more problem, series of screen captures circulated on the web, showing Instagram direct-message exchanges between Stefano Gabbana and fashion writer Michaela Tranova, as well as response from the brand’s official Instagram, clearly presenting how poorly they handled the criticism, by further making racist remarks. Later, both the label and Gabbana claimed that their Instagram account was hacked.
Yet, damage was done. Before the show was officially canceled, Chinese A-list celebrities who were invited to attend the show, decided to drop. Reports even said that the local models who were supposed to walk the runway left the venue before it was cancelled. Notable names in fashion and entertainment also denounced the luxury brand – with names such as actresses Zhang Ziyi and Li Bingbing, high profile models like Estelle Chen, Chu Wong and Jin Dachuan. D&G suffered further when their Chinese brand ambassadors like Karry Wang and Dilraba Dilmurat, decided to cut ties and terminate their partnerships immediately.
A statement released by D&G was posted on their Instagram, saying that their dream was “to bring to Shanghai a tribute event dedicated to China,” and “something that we created especially with love and passion for China.” They further added that what happened was “unfortunate” before thanking all their guests and friends. No response or explanation for the racist accusations, nor were there any formal apologies stated in the release.
We will keep you posted on this, because we don’t think we’ve heard the end of this. Meanwhile, what do you think?
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