Dolce & Gabbana issue apology following accusations of racism

Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce have issued a statement following the cancellation of their show in Shanghai due to a racist marketing campaign.

'Our families have always taught us to respect the various cultures of the world, and for this, we want to apologize if we have made mistakes in interpreting your culture,' said Domenico Dolce. 'We have always loved China; we have visited many cities... and certainly, we still have much to learn.'

'We offer our sincerest apologies to Chinese people worldwide,' said Stefano Gabbana.

The brand was forced to cancel the show by local government agencies after it posted a series of videos in which a Chinese model tries to eat Italian dishes such as pasta and pizza with chopsticks. While the video was removed from the site after 24 hours, it had already been shared many times on other social media platforms and Instagram and screenshots were already made. The hashtag #BoycottDolce soon followed and the Weibo hashtag #DGTheGreatShowCancelled has already been shared 540 million times, and mentioned in 74,000 discussions.

More than 15 Chinese celebrity guests including Zhang Ziyi, Li Bingbing, Chen Kun, Wang Xiaoming, and Donnie Yen said they did not go to the event. Ziyi even said that she would never wear anything from Dolce & Gabbana on her Instagram while the editor-in-chief of Vogue China, Angelica Cheung, also turned against the brand. On social media people called for its boycott, while large online boutiques in China also opted for a boycott and removed accessories and clothing from Dolce & Gabbana.

Dolce & Gabbana claim that their account was hacked and that they were not behind the racist comments, however, that does not seem very credible. After all, this is the second time that the design duo has been accused of racism in the last eighteen months. Previously for their #DGLovesChina campaign, Beijing was portrayed in a way that Chinese internet users considered very inappropriate. Both designers have been accused often of making politically insensitive statements, about babies that come into the world via IVF as well as gay couples who want to adopt. The duo previously described their gladiator sandals as 'slave sandals'.

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