Dolce and Gabbana have just pissed off the whole population of China

This guy just keeps on giving.

Photo credit: Dolce and Gabbana

Photo credit: Dolce and Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana have been forced to cancel a Shanghai catwalk show after an uproar over offensive content shared on the brand’s social media accounts.

A video posted on Monday of a Chinese model attempting to eat Italian food with chopsticks was taken down after less than 24 hours, but widely shared on both Chinese social media platforms and Instagram for being seen as a ‘racist marketing ploy’.

The social media storm was made one hundred times worse on Wednesday, the day the brand's #DGTheGreatShow catwalk presentation was scheduled to take place in Shanghai.

In what Dolce & Gabbana claims was the result of a hack, the brand's social media accounts featured derogatory comments about China and Chinese internet users. Though quickly removed, screenshots of the comments were widely shared on Chinese social media, along with the trending hashtag #BoycottDolce.

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Show invitees have been informed that the 500-look runway event will no longer go ahead. The brand was reportedly forced to cancel the presentation by local government authorities, but this has yet to be independently confirmed. Over 15 Chinese celebrity guests, including Zhang Ziyi,  Li Bingbing, Chen Kun, Wang Xiaoming, Donnie Yen have expressed that they will not be attending the event, in addition to international and local models such as Lucky Blue Smith and Estelle Chen, who were slated to walk the runway.

This marks the second high-profile outcry over racist messaging from Dolce & Gabbana in only 18 months. A previous #DGLovesChina campaign depicting Beijing in a way that Chinese internet users felt looked backwards and underdeveloped.

Though the designer duo have been known for using social media to voice their controversial opinions, upsetting Chinese consumers will have far-reaching commercial consequences. According to Bain & Company’s latest report, Chinese consumers are now responsible for an estimated 33 percent of global luxury spend — a share that is likely to hit 46 percent by 2025.

The Weibo hashtag #DGTheGreatShowCancelled had been read 540 million times, and mentioned in 74,000 discussions.


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