The Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda presentation, which took place in Venice over the weekend, appears to have caused amnesia throughout the whole fashion industry.
Even as the Italian fashion brand recovers sales lost to the epidemic and a botched ad campaign in China, Dolce & Gabbana Srl aims to stay independent to maintain its creative independence.
The Milan-based company has no intention of changing its stand-alone status, according to Chief Executive Officer Alfonso Dolce, despite the fact that the privately held brand is a favorite of investment bankers hoping to generate interest in a potential acquisition.
Fashion hadn’t witnessed such a remarkable breakdown on the part of a designer since John Galliano’s recorded antisemitic tirade went viral in 2011.
Additionally, these modifications aren’t top-down: They are being propelled by a consumer base that increasingly uses social media to call for openness on a range of concerns, including the sustainability of products, moral workplace conditions, social justice issues, and internal corporate culture.
The extravagant event attracted a host of A-list celebrities, like Megan Thee Stallion, Jennifer Lopez, and Helen Mirren. It also received a positive review in Vogue.
Race in Dolce & Gabbana: A Brief History
Does anyone remember Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s history of making vulgar, homophobic, and other racial remarks given a large number of A-list attendance and Condé Nast’s apparent support of the collection?
A few years back, the design team came under fire for running an offensive advertisement featuring an Asian model attempting to eat Italian food with chopsticks. The model struggles to use chopsticks to pick up a massive cannoli and is asked condescendingly, “Is it too big for you?”
Stefano Gabbana allegedly slipped into a user’s direct message (DM) and said, “China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia,” after the user had written about the reprehensible campaign on Instagram. Charming.
Advocates for the devils may view the campaign as an excused victim of cancel culture, but a look at Dolce & Gabbana’s history shows that this was far from a one-time mistake.
In 2012, the company sent white models down the runway wearing earrings that resembled the “Blackamoor” monuments from colonial times, which feature racist stereotypes of Black people.
Gabbana Wore Blackface at A Party in 2013.
In 2015, Dolce and Gabbana both declared their opposition to gay couples adopting. A year later, they unveiled the “Slave Sandal,” a $2,000 shoe.
After criticism over their backing of Melania Trump erupted in 2017, the couple replied with a pretty tasteless campaign promoting “#Boycott Dolce & Gabbana” T-shirts that were specifically designed to mock the brand’s detractors.
Dolce & Gabbana Speaks Out After China Scandal Four Years Later
In China, things were pretty well for Dolce & Gabbana. Really simple. When the Italian brand first entered the market in 2006, its craftsmanship reflected extravagance and opulence, which perfectly suited the mainland consumer during the decade the 2010s.
The company launched e-commerce through YOOX Group in 2011 and was selling online years before most of its competitors. By 2018, it had 58 boutiques (located in Hong Kong, Macau, and mainland China) and had appointed prominent idols like Wang Junkai and Dilmurat Dilraba as ambassadors in the APAC region. To put it simply, it was perfect. or so it appeared.
Then, in November of the same year, the controversy happened. Even more offensive than the culturally insensitive advertisement featuring a Chinese model using chopsticks to eat Italian food was the co-venomous founder’s criticism of China on Instagram. The consequences were severe and extended well beyond China.