Decoding Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s Weibo Video Apology: Is It Enough?

The latest episode in the Dolce & Gabbana Chinese saga went out on the brand’s official Weibo social media account today. It involved a video apology by co-founders Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana and has since been posted to the brand’s YouTube channel.

The new apology comes in the wake of Stefano Gabbana’s alleged racist Instagram comments following controversial videos promoting the brand’s Chinese runway show.

The statement, given by the duo in Italian, reads as follows.

“Over the last few days, we have thought long and hard with great sadness about everything that has happened and what we have caused in your country, and we are very sorry. Our families have always taught us to respect the different cultures of the world, so this is why we want to ask for your forgiveness if we have made mistakes in interpreting yours. We also want to apologize to all of the many Chinese people throughout the world. We take this apology very seriously as well as this message. We have always been in love with China. We’ve have visited it and seen many of its cities. We love your culture, and we certainly have much to learn. That is why we are sorry if we made mistakes in the way we expressed ourselves. We will never forget this experience, and it will certainly never happen again. In fact, we will work to do things better. We will respect Chinese culture in every way possible. From the bottom of our hearts, we ask for forgiveness. Sorry.”

The final “sorry” (“dui bu qi”) is spoken in Mandarin.

Both Gabbana and the brand previously posted that Gabbana’s Instagram account had been hacked. However, interestingly, this point is not referenced in the video.

The apology is nonspecific, merely referring to “mistakes in the way we expressed ourselves” and “mistakes in interpreting” Chinese culture.

Major Chinese e-commerce platforms including JD.com, Alibaba-owned Tmall, Secoo, VIPshop and Netease have already shelved the Italian fashion house’s products, according to reports. Likewise, the Chinese platforms of Yoox Net-a-Porter Group. According to a report by WWD today, Asian department story Lane Crawford is also pulling the label’s products. Lane Crawford president Andrew Keith said in a statement: “With respect to our customers, we have taken the decision to remove Dolce & Gabbana from all stores in mainland China, online and in Hong Kong.”

Interpret the apology as you will, but whether it will serve to mollify customers and how long aforementioned retail bans will last remains to be seen.

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