Dolce & Gabbana says sorry as China debacle threatens its future

Chinese shopping websites boycott Dolce & Gabbana, Fashion News & Top Stories

Dolce & Gabbana products have been dropped by e-commerce giants Alibaba, JD and Yoox Net-A-Porter and its Shanghai fashion show has been cancelled in the wake of the brand's latest racism furore. The clips show a Chinese model in a red, sequined D&G dress struggling to eat Italian dishes like spaghetti and cannoli pastry with a pair of chopsticks.

E-commerce group Secoo Holding said it had pulled Dolce & Gabbana products, while Chinese e-commerce platform Kaola also said it had removed the brand from its site, according to reports.

Earlier this week, D&G cofounder Stefano Gabbana labelled China a "country of sh*t" and "ignorant dirty smelling mafia" in an inflammatory Instagram exchange.

They were originally posted this week on Weibo, a Chinese microblogging service, and were deleted after a widespread uproar on social media.

Dolce & Gabbana's co-founders asked for China's "forgiveness" on Friday, trying to salvage a crucial market for the luxury brand after a backlash against its latest advertising campaign. Social media users called it out for being racist and patronising.

Image from a Dolce & Gabbana promotional video that has drawn fire in China for using racist stereotypes.

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The Chinese government also stepped in with the Cultural and Tourism Department ordering Dolce & Gabbana to cancel the event just a few hours before it was scheduled to take place.

According to consultancy McKinsey & Co., Chinese spent 500 billion yuan ($72 billion) on luxury products a year ago, accounting for a third of the world's spending. However, the brand claim their Instagram account and Gabbana's personal account had been hacked.

The prints of Stefano Gabbana's Instagram post having written "Not Me" are seen on the window of a Dolce & Gabbana store in Shanghai.

"Our families always taught us to respect different cultures across the world and because of this we want to ask for your forgiveness if we have made mistakes in interpreting yours", said Dolce in Italian.

'We want to say sorry to all Chinese across the world, of which there are many, and we are taking this apology and message very seriously, ' Gabbana added.

Gabbana: We will never forget this experience and it will certainly never happen again.

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The designers concluded the video by saying "sorry" in Chinese.

Guests then began withdrawing their attendance from the show and online onlookers let it be known they were unpleased with Dolce & Gabbana for Stefano Gabbana's insensitive remarks.

Later on, they apologised specifically to their Chinese followers on the brand's Weibo channel.

While there is no word yet as to the outcome of the incident for Dolce & Gabbana, it's worth noting the considerable online reach of these Chinese celebrities.

Beijing's tough stand also prompted the brand's ambassadors for Asia Pacific - singer Karry Wang and actress Dilraba Dilmurat - to end their contracts.

After its China missteps quickly went viral on China's Twitter-like Weibo platform, it apologized in a statement on the site.

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