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Chinese Retailers Drop Dolce & Gabbana Products After Racially Insensitive Video

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Chinese Retailers Drop Dolce & Gabbana Products After Racially Insensitive Video

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Luxury fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana is no stranger to controversy, a fact that is well known among regulars in the fashion community. Head designers Domenico Dolce and Steffano Gabbana have been grilled on everything from their opinions on the rights of gay couples to in-vitro fertilizations. Once again, they’ve put themselves in the fire amid allegations of racism.

On November 18, the brand released a video campaign to garner attention and hype for an upcoming runway show in Shanghai. The video featured an unnamed Asian model confusedly poking at various Italian dishes with a pair of chopsticks (which are referred to in the video as “small stick-like utensils”). A condescending voice can be heard asking “Is it too big for you?”.

The video generated sweeping outrage from across the Chinese market. One user on social media took a stab at D&G, claiming “You’re not gonna delete these stupid videos, you can say goodbye to the ¥of China.” Other users, however, were not so merciful, calling for the brands total retraction from Chinese stores and e-commerce.

Instagram user @diet_prada took an even deeper dive into the video, pointing out the tacky and cliché Chinese decor and cultural symbols in the background of the video. The user condemned the video as an assault on Chinese culture and history.

The fiasco caused many Chinese retailers to drop D&G from their shelves, dealing a brutal financial blow to the brand. Seeing as the Asian market is so lucrative to international businesses like D&G, some mark this as a possible end to the brand.

Now forced into a corner, head designers Domenico Dolce and Steffano Gabbana came out with an apology video on social media. The video was deleted, and the Shanghai runway show was cancelled. That isn’t to say, however, the situation ended then and there. The brand’s vital Asian connections lay in tatters still, and will likely stay as so for a long time coming.

The D&G brand now sits at a crossroads, and whether this spells drastic financial cutbacks or the death of a titan of the fashion industries is up in the air, and only time will tell.

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