Dolce & Gabbana (D&G) has postponed its Shanghai fashion show, The Great Show, after accusations of racism against the luxury brand surfaced, leading to Chinese celebrities including Zhang Ziyi, Li Bingbing, Chen Kun and Wang Junkai declining to attend the show.
In a Weibo post, D&G announced that the fashion show has been postponed and apologised for the inconvenience caused. Meanwhile, the co-founders of the brand Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana also posted a Facebook statement saying that its dream was to bring to Shanghai a tribute event dedicated to China which tells D&G's history and vision.
"It was not simply a fashion show, but something that we created especially with love and passion for China and all the people around the world who [love] Dolce & Gabbana. What happened today was very unfortunate not only for us, but also for all the people who worked day and night to bring this event to life," the statement read.
The luxury brand recently received netizen backlash after publishing three 40-second ads featuring an East Asian model struggling to eat Italian food such as Pizza Margherita and cannoli with chopsticks. The videos were published on D&G's Facebook, Weibo, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Meanwhile, co-founder Gabbana also got embroiled in the controversy after allegedly making racist comments against the Chinese in a direct message on Instagram. During the exchange, Gabbana said "So you are racist because you eat dogs?" Screenshots of the comments circulated on social media, further aggravating the situation. In an Instagram post, D&G said that both its account and Gabbana's has been hacked and that its legal office is "urgently investigating".
"We are very sorry for any distress caused by these [unauthorised] posts, comments and direct messages. We have nothing but respect for China and the people of China," D&G's post added. Gabbana also posted a picture of the screenshot with the words "Not Me" over the image, clarifying that he loves China and the Chinese culture and that he is sorry for that happened.
This is not the first time D&G has upset Chinese netizens. In 2017, online furore forced the luxury brand to remove its advertisement campaign “DG loves China” after it was alleged that the campaign showed a "stereotyped" China, by choosing outdated street views as a background instead of advanced modern areas such as Beijing's financial district.
In the collection of photos, several models wearing high-end fashion gowns posed in Beijing’s centuries-old hutongs and at famous tourist attractions such as Tiananmen Square, next to tourists as well as taxi and pedicab drivers.