HK singer Karen Mok cops flak from Chinese fans for wearing D&G

Hong Kong singer Karen Mok has apologised for wearing an outfit by Italian luxury brand Dolce & Gabbana (D&G) in a music video for the song titled "Woman for all seasons" in her new album. According to multiple media reports including The Straits Times, the apology came shortly after she was criticised by Chinese netizens for supporting the brand which was accused of racism in 2018. D&G previously published three ads showing a Chinese woman being told how to use chopsticks to enjoy Italian food.

In addition to the MV, Mok also reportedly used the photo of her in a D&G robe as her profile picture on Weibo. The picture has since been updated and Mok has also removed photos of her wearing the outfit from her social media accounts, along with the music video. Meanwhile, her agency 莫家寶貝工作室 (Moka Bye Baby Workshop) has also apologised on its Weibo account, explaining that it has overlooked the issues revolving around D&G and no stringent checks were done on behalf of Mok. As a result, it caused displeasure among consumers and sincerely apologises for it.

Moka Bye Baby Workshop also explained that it has looked into all the brands that Mok is working with and also immediately removed the music video from all platforms. "Similar clothing concepts will not appear in other promotions for the new album. At the same time, the music video's director Ma Tianyou who owns celebrity styling company Fame Glory, also took to his Weibo to explain that the stylist behind the concept is also extremely apologetic for the incident and vowed to be more stringent in its checks to prevent similar instances from happening in the future.

Some netizens criticised Mok for donning a brand that previously insulted China, saying they did not believe she was genuinely apologetic. Another also said she should have published a proper apology on her social media platforms instead of using Moka Bye Baby Workshop's Weibo account because the agency has not published a post since 2020. However, some netizens also stood up for Mok, saying they felt that her apology was sincere and this was really not a big deal unlike what everyone is making out to be. Another also said netizens should criticise the D&G brand instead of Mok.

D&G caused a furore online in 2018 when its "DG Loves China" campaign showed a woman eating large plates of pizza and spaghetti with a pair of chopsticks while a male voiceover tells her what to do. The video was produced to promote its runway show in Shanghai which eventually got canned after Chinese celebrities including Zhang Ziyi, Chen Kun and Li Bingbing declined to attend. Tmall, JD.com, Vipshop and Yanxuan also pulled D&G products off their sites.

Meanwhile, D&G founders Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana apologised in a video, stating that they have "seriously reflected" on what the company's words and actions have brought upon the Chinese people and China and were "deeply saddened". However, in March this year, D&G was reported to be suing two US bloggers behind the Instagram account @diet_prada, which previously criticised D&G's 2018 ad campaign in China. D&G is also reportedly seeking compensation of US$5.3 million to restore brand image since 2018, and damages of US$3.5 million for the company, as well as US$1.1 million for Gabbana. Meanwhile, Channel NewsAsia also said the luxury brand is seeking more than US$10 million for the cancellation of the Shanghai show, another US$10 million for staff expenditures and over US$106 million for the amount of Asian sales lost from November 2018 to March 2019.

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