Dolce & Gabbana Did Something Problematic, Again
If you’ve come across videos of people burning their Dolce & Gabbana coats, bags, accessories, etc., then you’re witnessing the brand’s most perilous downfall to date.
D&G, as part of their marketing plan for their Alta Moda showing in China, decided to release a video showing a Chinese model struggling to eat pizza, spaghetti, and cannoli with chopsticks. The video was regarded as depicting old, insulting stereotypes, produced in bad taste.
What really sparked the current mayhem were the actions of the brand’s co-founder and designer, Stefano Gabbana, however. Stefano responded to the video’s criticism through a private Instagram message, where he suggested that Chinese people continue to eat dogs. @DietPrada, a popular Instagram account focused on calling out vices in the fashion industry, got a hold of and circulated Stefano’s messages, and that’s when the public outrage took form:
The D&G mayhem gathered enough infamy to garner the attention of the greater public, including those who don’t usually concern themselves with fashion industry news. To newcomers, this fiasco may come as a shock, but what you might not know is that D&G has a notorious, problematic history that isn’t limited to just this one instance.
In 2015, Domenico and Stefano both admitted that they were against the idea of gay couples having children through in-vitro fertilization (describing them as “synthetic children,” facing major backlash from Elton John and other members of the LGBT+ community). The following year, D&G decided to introduce a Hijab and Abaya line—an inclusive move that roused support—only to sell a shoe in the same line that was called the “slave sandal.” Stefano Gabbana also infamously took to Instagram to body shame both Lady Gaga and Selena Gomez, calling them “so ugly.” The brand is also notorious for choosing to dress Melania Trump, even after many famous designers publicly refused to dress the First Lady.
The brand has curiously been able to sell product and remain relevant despite boycott after boycott. But the uncomfortable ad in conjunction with Stefano’s racist messages may just be what marks D&G’s ultimate downfall. The brand is taking a major hit as their Chinese customers represent the majority of buyers for their luxury products. Stefano and Domenico did create an apology video, but buyers are still furious, and at the end of the day, stocks are dropping, and bags are burning.
Feature image via.