Dolce & Gabbana, the Italian fashion-house, had to pay a heavy price for the promotional videos and Instagram messages made by Gabbana and the company. The videos which were said to include archaic Chinese stereotypes were regarded as racist by several Chinese users of social media sites and the messages were found rude and insulting.
The co-founders, Steffano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce, apologized profusely for their crassness on Friday through a video uploaded on Weibo, the Twitter version in Chinese. The video which lasted for a minute and half had both of them with folded hands sitting at a huge conference table asking for forgiveness. They further vocalized their intention to learn, value, and appreciate Chinese culture and apologized for the way they had expressed themselves earlier. The video ended by both of them uttering ‘sorry’ in the Chinese language.
With China being one of the foremost buyers of luxury products and accounting for 30% of the global sales of luxury items, the apology video was a form of immediate damage control. However, the company could not escape the repercussions of their videos and the insulting Instagram remarks.
The consequence was the removal of Dolce and Gabbana merchandise from varied online stores like Tmall of Alibaba, JD.com and many others. This was followed by an announcement of removal of the brand’s products by a duty-free shop housed at the Haikou Meilan airport situated on the Hainan Island of the country.
Several well-known Chinese celebrities including actress Zhang Ziyi, Dilireba, and Karry Wang revoked their cooperation to the Italian brand. The swanky ‘Lane Crawford’ departmental store in Hong Kong in a bid to show their solidarity to Chinese retailers removed the brand’s products from all of their online and physical stores in Hong Kong and Mainland China.
Dolce & Gabbana had to revoke a major gala event to be held early in the week, one of its largest ever to be held abroad.