A timeline of the Dolce & Gabbana #DGLovesChina saga
The full low-down
Nov 18: Ahead of its Shanghai show on November 21, the brand stirred up some controversy when it released its latest ad campaign—called "Eating with Chopsticks"—on Weibo (China's main social media platform) and Instagram. The video showcases an Asian model—dressed in a red sequinned dress—struggling to eat Italian food (Pizza Margherita, Sicilian cannolo, and spaghetti al Pomodoro) with chopsticks. From the cliché background music to the mispronunciations and crude innuendos by the male narrator, the clips have been labeled as being racist, stereotypical and sexist. Although they have since been taken down from Weibo ('Boycott Dolce' has been mentioned more than 18,000 times not long after), they remain on Dolce & Gabbana's Instagram page.
Watch them below:
Nov 21: Never one to shy away from controversies (we're looking at you, Stefano Gabbana), screenshots of a conversation between the outspoken half of Dolce & Gabbana with an Instagram user, Michaela Phuong, surfaced and was subsequently reposted on Diet Prada's account. In their exchange, Gabbana called the video a "tribute" before stating that "from now on in all the interviews I will do international I will say the country of [poo emojis] is China", and labeled Phuong as a "China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia". Needless to say, this didn't sit well with the public.
(Nov 22 update: Michaela's post has been removed by Instagram, but here are the screenshots reposted by Diet Prada)
Not long after, Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi announced on Weibo that she will not be attending the Dolce & Gabbana show, and neither she nor her team will be buying any D&G products moving forward. Other A-list Chinese celebrities who were scheduled to make their appearances such as Li BingBing, Dilraba Dilmurat, Huang XiaoMing, Mu ZiYang and more have also boycotted the event, and model agencies Bentley and Xing Li pulled their models out from the show.
Hours later, both the brand and Stefano Gabbana took to Instagram to apologise, and claim that their accounts were hacked. (PS Do you buy it?)
It wasn't long until it was announced that the fashion house has decided to cancel the show—four hours before it was scheduled to start. Although according to Diet Prada, the #DGTheGreatShow was actually canceled by the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Shanghai.
Stay tuned for more updates.