(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)
D&G founders apologize to ‘China and its people’
Dolce & Gabbana released a video on Friday in which Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, the two founders of the Italian fashion house, apologized for “what their words had brought to China and its people,” and said they “sincerely ask for forgiveness.”
At the end of the 85-second video released exclusively on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, was the duo chorused “sorry” in Chinese — “dui bu qi.”
Gabbana said D&G loved Chinese culture and felt sorry for what he had said.
“Such a thing will never happen again,” said Gabbana. “We must try harder to understand and respect Chinese culture.”
D&G has been under fire for the racist and derogatory comments Gabbana left on Instagram after its latest commercial videos, promoting the fashion house’s Great Show on Wednesday in Shanghai, stirred controversy on social media for portraying stereotypical and out of date Chinese cultural symbols.
The videos were deleted from Weibo, but remain on Instagram.
Gabbana made comments in a private message exchange with another Instagram user, saying the videos were “deleted from Chinese social media because my office is stupid as the superiority of the Chinese.”
“And from now on in all the interviews that I will do international I will say that the country of shit (emojis) is China … China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia,” Gabbana said.
The fashion house later claimed the Instagram accounts of D&G and Gabbana himself were hacked.
It also announced The Great Show of D&G, which was supposed to be held on Wednesday night, was to be rescheduled. Chinese celebrities and models all claimed to withdraw from the show.
Michaela Phuong Thanh Tranova, a student with Asian ancestry in London who first posted the screenshots of the message exchange with Gabbana on Instagram, said the posts about D&G were deliberately deleted undue to her own will, and she was warned that she would be banned from Instagram if she continued to post.
Instagram apologized to Tranova and restored her posts on Friday.
Things kept simmering as D&G released several statements which showed no remorse.
In one statement the fashion house said, “what happened today was very unfortunate not only for us, but also for all people who worked day and night to bring this event to life.”
The statement aroused more criticism and was deleted from Weibo, but remained on its Instagram account.
Goods of the fashion house have disappeared from Chinese e-commerce sites one day after the incident. E-commerce giants like JD.com and Alibaba’s Tmall all removed D&G goods and said they do not welcome those who have no respect for China.