Dolce & Gabbana, China, and Boycotting Fashion

Last week, a scandal ensued around the Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana, founded and directed by the unapologetic Italians, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, after a series of videos, promoting their upcoming fashion event in Shanghai, were accused of containing racist content. If a sparsely dressed Chinese girl trying to eat a giant cannolo with a pair of chop sticks, while a narrator intones, “Is it too huge for you?” (see below) wouldn’t substantiate those claims – Stefano Gabbana’s SoMe feud in the DM’s of Instagram page @dietprada certainly did the job – launching derogatory attacks on China and the Chinese people in a grotesque cascade (“eat dog shit” and “Dirty Smelling Mafia”, to give you a sample). In less than 24 hours, almost all of the show’s Chinese supermodels and celebrity A-list guests cancelled their participation, the Shanghai City Government shut the event down, and Yoox pulled all Dolce & Gabbana from their e-commerce platform. The brand themselves issued a statement that they had been hacked (although there’s proof of the opposite), and later released an excruciating apology video with the design duo, exclaiming the already iconic words: “We want to apologize to the Chinese people … Because there are so many of them!” At least D&G puts their money where their mouth is. In the aftermath of the scandal, leading to calls to boycott the brand altogether, has lead to a revived conversation about consumer power, the morals of fashion media, and how to assert politics in fashion. We guide you to some of the best reads right here.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#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

A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

You saw it here first! What an interesting few hours spent wreaking havoc on @dolcegabbana ’s ill-fated #DGTheGreatShow while sitting on our couch juuling and eating gelato (not with chopsticks) lol. Thank you to @michaelatranova @helenatranova @anthxnyxo for sharing their DMs and to all the Chinese Dieters who furiously updated us with translations by the minute. For anyone that believes their account was actually hacked, see slide #2 of Stefano reposting the same DM on his stories before shit hit the fan. Oh the irony of him loving to cry “fake news” and promptly dishing it out himself via his and the brand IG account. Check our story highlight “#DGTheShitShow” for the full recap. • #DGTheGreatShow #DGlovesChina #runway #fashionshow #cancelled #racism #dolceandgabbana #altamoda #rtw #dgmillennials #stefanogabbana #shanghai #chinese #china #wtf #dumb #lame #asianmodel #asian #dietprada

A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada) on

  • @Dietprada – our favorite caller of bullshit in the industry – and their coverage was what triggered the whole scandal. Have a read here.
  • Can We Ever Really #Cancel Dolce & Gabbana? The brand’s scandal shows the power and limits of Diet Prada activism and #cancel culture by Rachel Tashjian – via GARAGE
  • A Full Timeline of the Crisis at Dolce & Gabbana by Rachel Tashjian – via Garage

  • Is it Racist?: Dolce & Gabbana’s New Ad Campaign Sparks Uproar in China by Yiling Pan – via Jing Daily
  • Does Dolce & Gabbana’s Mishap in China Signal the Brand’s Downfall? by Jake Silbert – via Hypebeast

  • Dolce & Gabbana’s racism debacle in China could be one of the costliest brand missteps ever by Marc Bain – via QZ