Allegations of Racism Shut Down Dolce & Gabbana's Show in Shanghai
Friday, 23 November 2018
by 👨💻 Adam Yardley
Dolce & Gabbana is, of course, a fashion brand known worldwide. As such, the house was expected to put on a show in Shanghai, China, in recent days – celebrating Chinese culture in what was to be referred to as The Great Show. However, anyone planning to head to the catwalk event, initially scheduled for November 21st – would have been disappointed to learn that such plans were cancelled at the very last minute. According to Sky News, ongoing concerns and allgeations with regard to racism at the top of the brand seem to be to blame.
The problems with regard to D&G and alleged racism appear to stem back to remarks made by brand co-founder Stefano Gabbana on social media. Such remarks appeared to have been fairly crude about Chhinese culture, though the brand has claimed that their social media accounts were hacked and therefore not to blame for the incidents.
Remarks supposedly made by Gabbana refer back to a commercial campaign for D&G which depicted an Asian model eating Italian food with chopsticks, with narration on the commercial having been interpreted to be culturally insensitive. Following this, Gabbana is, according to screenshots supposedly leaked, said to have referred to the ‘China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia’. The incident apparently led the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Shanghai to pull the fashion show completely at the last minute.
Gabbana stated that he was not responsible for the messages while apologising – though for many fans of the brand and for many Chinese celebrities planning to initially attend the event, such words have not been enough to repair the damage. China Bentley, a modelling agency, pulled at least 24 models from the show as a result of the controversy before it was cancelled outright.
“Our dream was to bring to Shanghai a tribute event dedicated to China which tells our history and vision,” an official Dolce & Gabbana statement reads. “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.”
The fallout has continued, with many Chinese models and celebrities continuing to chastise the brand outright. Regardless of whether or not a hacking took place, this is one enormous PR disaster that may well linger within the Chinese fashion industry for some time.
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