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Dolce & Gabbana fashion house has decided to pull its products from Chinese e-commerce sites as the backlash against a controversial ad campaign grows.
The Italian fashion house posted videos this week showing a Chinese model struggling to eat pasta and pizza with chopsticks.
The D&G campaign was accused of trivializing Chinese culture and promoting unflattering stereotypes.
The controversy risks alienating Dolce & Gabbana from one of the world’s biggest luxury markets.
Chinese celebrities have called for a boycott of the brand.
The D&G crisis deepened when messages allegedly written by co-founder Stefano Gabbana, which included offensive comments about Chinese people, went viral.
The company apologized for any offence but said it and Stefano Gabbana’s Instagram accounts had been hacked.
On November 23, D&G offered a fresh apology by publishing a video showing Stefano Gabbana and co-founder Domenico Dolce appealing for their “misunderstanding of Chinese culture” to be forgiven.
Earlier this week, the Italian company canceled its fashion show in Shanghai.
However, the backlash has continued as retailers in China retreated from the brand.
On November 23, Dolce & Gabbana products were not available in China on major e-commerce sites Taobao and JD.com, as well as smaller platforms Kaola and Secoo.
China is a crucial market for luxury brands. A 2018 report by consultancy Bain & Company forecast the luxury goods market in mainland China will grow by up to 22% this year.
Founders of the Dolce & Gabbana fashion house, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, have been cleared by Italy’s top court of tax evasion.
Two lower Italian courts had found Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana guilty of failing to declare millions of euros the company had earned through a subsidy based in Luxembourg.
In April, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana had been sentenced to a suspended 20-month jail term.
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were found guilty of failing to declare millions of euros their fashion house had earned through a subsidy based in Luxembourg
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have always denied the charges.
In June 2013, they were convicted by a lower court for failing to file tax declarations for the Luxembourg company, Gado, which prosecutors alleged was set up to evade paying taxes in Italy.
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana denied the charges, and last year they briefly closed their Milan stores in protest.
The ruling by Italy’s top court is the final ruling on the subject.
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Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been sentenced to jail in Italy for one year and eight months for tax evasion.
The Italian fashion designers were accused of hiding millions of euros from tax authorities.
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, whose customers have included Madonna, Kate Moss and Kylie Minogue, were not at the trial, deny the charges and have appealed.
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been sentenced to jail in Italy for one year and eight months for tax evasion
The designers have not commented on their sentences, which have been suspended pending their appeal.
The investigation by the Italian authorities began around six years ago as part of a government plan to crack down on tax avoidance.
At the hearing on Wednesday, the judge ruled that the designers moved their brand to a Luxembourg-based holding company Gado – an anagram of their two surnames – in 2004.
He said they had done this to avoid declaring taxes on royalties of around 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion).
Prosecutors alleged they sold the business for well below actual market value.
They were initially cleared of the charges at a previous trial in April 2011 but Italy’s highest court overturned that ruling, ordering that the case should be sent back.