Dolce & Gabbana has faced a backlash for a ‘racist’ advertising campaign circulated in China.
As a consequence, the fashion house’s catwalk show, which was due to happen today, has been cancelled by the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Shanghai.
Instagram account @diet_prada shared a post with its 843,000 followers confirming the news.
Dolce & Gabbana’s ‘racist’ advertising campaign
The same account shared the fashion house’s video advertisement yesterday, which features a Chinese woman trying to eat a type of Italian pastry – collectively known as cannoli – with a pair of chopsticks.
In the so-called ‘instructional’ video, which @diet_prada dubbed ‘highly offensive’, the woman fails to pick up the pastry and looks confused by the food.
She also mispronounces Dolce & Gabbana.
The account, which acts as an unofficial watchdog for the fashion industry, called the video ‘hella offensive’.
The caption reads: “Pandering at its finest, but taken up a notch by painting their target demographic as a tired and false stereotype of a people lacking refinement/culture to understand how to eat foreign foods and an over-the-top embellishment of cliché ambient music, comical pronunciations of foreign names/words, and Chinese subtitles (English added by us), which begs the question—who is this video actually for?”
One person commented: “This is racist as f**k and D&G belong in the bin.”
Another person write: “ It has clearly touched a nerve. This video offends me.”
To make matters worse, Stefano Gabbana, co-founder of the brand, allegedly sent messages to @diet_prada’s Michaela Tranova referring to the ‘China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia’.
He has since denied this is him, claiming he was ‘hacked’ in an Instagram post.
It is likely Stefano will be keen to repair his relationship with consumers in China, where Dolce & Gabbana have outlets in 25 different cities, according to store listings. Chinese consumers make up almost a third of the global luxury market, making up 500 billion yuan ($72 billion, or £56 billion) in annual spending, according to a 2017 McKinsey report.
This is not the first time the brand’s spokesperson has faced controversy. Most recently, Stefano called blogger Chiara Ferragni ‘cheap’ on her wedding day.
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