Image source Wikimedia
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.
Stefano Gabbana has responded to calls from Elton John for people to boycott the Dolce & Gabbana fashion label.
Elton John criticized the fashion designers after they called children born through IVF “synthetic” in a magazine interview.
Stefano Gabbana has since said that “it was never our intention to judge other people’s choices.”
“We do believe in freedom and love,” Stefano Gabbana added in a statement.
Elton John, who has two children with his husband David Furnish, had a go at the fashion designers for rejecting same-gender families and the use of IVF treatment.
On March 15, Elton John wrote on Instagram:
“How dare you refer to my beautiful children as <<synthetic>>.
“And shame on you for wagging your judgemental little fingers at IVF – a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfill their dream of having children.
“Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions.
“I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana.”
Business partners Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who are both gay and were a couple for 23 years until breaking up in 2005, have rejected same-gender marriage in the past.
In an interview with Italian magazine
Panorama this weekend Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana went further saying they also didn’t agree with the idea of gay families.
“We oppose gay adoptions,” they said.
“The only family is the traditional one.
“No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed.”
Domenico Dolce went on to say that having children should be an “act of love”.
“You are born to a mother and a father – or at least that’s how it should be.
“I call children of chemistry, synthetic children.”
Stefano Gabbana added:
“The family is not a fad. In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging.”
In an interview in 2006, Stefano Gabbana revealed in another Italian magazine that he had approached a woman to be the mother of his baby but said he struggled with the idea.
“I am opposed to the idea of a child growing up with two gay parents,” he said.
“A child needs a mother and a father. I could not imagine my childhood without my mother. I also believe that it is cruel to take a baby away from its mother.”
Meanwhile, a fair few celebrities have backed Elton John’s boycott call.
Among them was Courtney Love, who tweeted that she wanted “to burn” her D&G clothes.
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