dolce and gabbana issue an apology to china
After intense condemnation from the fashion industry and many high-profile Chinese celebrities, the pair have posted a video apology to the brand’s YouTube channel.
The unfolding chaos of Dolce and Gabbana’s racism scandal has been the biggest story in fashion this week. The sequence of events went as follows: the brand released a campaign video in which a Chinese model struggled to eat spaghetti and pizza with a pair of chopsticks. Accusations of tastelessness and cultural insensitivity ensued and the reaction was such that the brand had to “postpone” the Shanghai fashion show which they intended to follow up the new campaign with. Things then worsened quite dramatically when direct messages were sent from Stefano Gabbana's Instagram account, responding to the accusations with a slew of deeply disturbing and offensive statements, calling the Chinese an “Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia” and saying “From now on in all the interviews that I will do international I will say that the country of [shit emoji] is China”. The messages were soon leaked by Diet Prada.
The pair quickly claimed the DMs were a result of their account being hacked -- “Our Instagram account has been hacked. So has the account of Stefano Gabbana. Our legal office is urgently investigating” -- but the damage had already been done. The topic had sparked condemnation and calls for boycotts from many high-profile Chinese celebrities, and many e-commerce sites have announced they’ll no longer stock the brand, including Net-a-Porter.
Today, the pair have released a video apology in which they take ownership of their comments and promise to never speak in such a way again, before signing off with “Sorry” in Mandarin. It’s a rare moment of remorse from a pair no stranger to scandal, but, given that China is one of the world’s most valuable luxury markets, it’s one that you can’t help but feel isn’t necessarily motivated by the pair’s contrition, but by the extent of the damage their reputation will do to the profitability of their brand.
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.