Dolce&Gabbana, an Italian luxury brand famous for its special design, has been in hot water for its insulting remarks on social media which identifies as “anti-Chinese” in China.
Today, more than a third of the customers of luxury brands come from the greater China region. As Dolce&Gabbana is trying hard to expand its market in mainland China, a fashion show was prepared to be held in Shanghai. It was supposed to be the biggest show of Dolce&Gabbana in the last 33 years. However, this show is like a broken bubble now——due to the Dolce&Gabbana public relationship.
Just 4 days before the show, a series of video advertisements were published on its social media pages, named as “Eating with Chopsticks”. Without any English or Italian subtitles, those videos were specifically targeted to its Chinese customers. These three videos provoked outrage in Chinese social media for the racist and sexual assault behind the scenes. The biting ridiculing voiceover was teaching a Chinese model on how to use chopsticks to eat Italian dishes, which there are some comparisons on “small and stick-like” chopsticks and “traditional great marvellous” pizza. After that, a Vietnamese model sent DM to the co-founder, Stefano Gabbana, and received the following messages. However, after that, Gabbana himself claimed that his account was hacked.
No matter if it’s true or not for his account being hacked, Dolce&Gabbana is famous for its rudeness on social media, as you may know about their degrading remarks regarding some celebrities as well as their opinions on gay families. It is not the first time Dolce&Gabbana is being accused by the public in China. In January, 2012, a protest against Dolce&Gabbana was held in Hong Kong, for its unfair treatment towards customers from Hong Kong, China, and other “foreign” areas. Further more, a T-shirt was designed by Dolce&Gabbana, with the characters saying “Love having sex the most” and Hong Kong emblem.
What happened next broke the dream of Dolce&Gabbana. The show has been cancelled; All the products of Dolce&Gabbana were disappearing from Chinese e-commerce websites and markets; and even Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese customers were feeling offended regarding the video poking fun at chopsticks. The two co-founders were forced to apologize, but most of the Chinese people didn’t accept the apology.
The Chinese government is trying to relax the reaction of the public partially due to the current economic conflict with the U.S. Unlike the last time towards Korea, the ministry of foreign affairs does not hope to make it into an official foreign affair. The media controlled by the Party is also trying to cool down.
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