From the accusations of racism to the public apology, we look back at all the events that led to one of the biggest fiascos in fashion's recent years.
November 19, 2018: Dolce & Gabbana promo videos go up. The Italian fashion house posts a series of videos which show a Chinese model struggling to eat Italian dishes with chopsticks. But it doesn’t go over well. Commenters say it is patronizing, sexist, and even racist — criticisms that surfaced a year ago with a previous Beijing ad campaign.
November, 11 2018 — Day of the show: Private messages sent from Stefano Gabbana’s Instagram account posted on Diet Prada. It shows a diatribe against China, saying “the country of [series of poop emojis] is China” and “China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia,” among other insults. Read the full report here: bit.ly/2AqYW0k
Show Starts Falling Apart: Celebrities, models, and influencers begin swiftly boycotting the event including Zhang Ziyi, Chen Kun, Li Bing Bing, Dilriba, Rocket Girls 101, and more. Zhang Ziyi (pictured here) said on Weibo she would not attend the show, nor would she wear the brand again.
Brand claims hacking: However, it’s too late and the event is canceled just hours before it is meant to kick off.
Disappointment and outrage: Fashion’s heavyweights react Western brands that want to grow in China must listen to their local China teams, advises Vogue editor in chief Angelica Cheung. For the full range of reactions from Leaf Greener to Estelle Chen, see: https://bit.ly/2PXD9rI
November, 22 2018: Apology statement A full statement is put out trying to quell the controversy, which says the show and the promotional videos had been meant as a tribute to China. “Our dream was to bring to Shanghai a tribute event dedicated to China which tells our history and vision,” they said in a joint statement posted on Instagram. “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.”
Fearing backlash, guards stationed at stores across China. The precautionary measure was seen at stores in Beijing and Shanghai the next day, although the situation remained calm. (Pictured here, a police officer outside the Dolce & Gabbana boutique at SKP Beijing)
Products scrubbed from major Chinese e-commerce sites. Alibaba, JD, Secoo, Netease among others no longer show the brand.
November, 23 2018: Fallout goes global Yoox Net-a-porter removes the brand from its Chinese arms, and so does Luisa Via Roma.
Lane Crawford nixes Dolce & Gabbana. The heritage luxury Asian department store pulls Dolce & Gabbana products from all of its 10 stores in greater China and its ecommerce platform.
Co-founders Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana issue a direct video apology. With the mess still not showing signs of dying down, the designers take a more personal approach saying “dui bu qi” or “sorry” in Mandarin. The duo asks for forgiveness and says they would “like to apologize to all the Chinese around the world”.
What happens next? Theories abound on what can happen next: A sale? A solo Dolce without Gabbana? Or will the internet, and the all important Chinese consumer forgive and forget?