Dolce & Gabbana wants to move forward. But in fashion, who earns forgiveness?
Not since John Galliano's caught-on-tape antisemitic rant went viral in 2011 had fashion seen such an incredible implosion on the part of a designer.
In 2018, ahead of a blowout fashion show intended to woo its Chinese clientele, Dolce & Gabbana released a series of racially insensitive videos featuring a Chinese model attempting to eat Italian foods with chopsticks. The campaign was perceived as racist and arrogant, and the backlash on social was swift, prompting the brand to delete the series from its Weibo account. The model, Zuo Ye, has since claimed that the videos nearly ended her career.
Things went from bad to worse when the Instagram account belonging to Stefano Gabbana began responding to critics via DMs, insulting both China and the Chinese people. These messages were then screenshot and sent to industry watchdog account Diet Prada, which posted them in full. Dolce & Gabbana claimed the designer's Instagram account had been hacked; the brand released an apology video. But it was too late: Dolce & Gabbana was forced to cancel the fashion show at the last minute. Retailers in the Asian market pulled the brand's products from shelves, and the luxury fashion house faced protests worldwide.
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