Dolce & Gabbana’s Chinese debacle has already reportedly cost the brand at least $1.15 million — but that could just be the start. Both Chinese and global retailers have revealed they are dropping the label, while brand ambassadors and influencers desert the Italian powerhouse.
In the wake of Stefano Gabbana’s alleged racist Instagram comments following controversial videos promoting the brand’s Chinese runway show, the fallout continues to build. According to WWD, Yoox Net-a-Porter Group, said it would remove the brand from its platforms. That means that Net-a-Porter, Mr. Porter and Yoox.com will likely soon be Dolce-free zones.
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. (According to Bloomberg, Chinese consumers spent more than $100 billion on luxury purchases last year, which is almost a third of the global total spend.)
After the brand abruptly canceled its China show this week, Dolce & Gabbana’s Asia-Pacific brand ambassador Karry Wang and Chinese actress Dilraba Dilmurat have both announced they will be terminating their relationships with the label. Zhang Ziyi — who starred in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” — also said she will boycott Dolce & Gabbana.
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People are getting titillated over the latest and perhaps grandest of Dolce & Gabbana/ Stefano Gabbana mega gaffes resulting in a cancelled show in Shanghai (one that reportedly cost 200 million RMB), countless models and celebrities boycotting attendance either out of fear, fake outrage or both, and basically a monumental waste of resources, effort and money The outrage here isn’t over the eyerollingly trite racism as displayed in the D&G promo videos depicting a model eating spaghetti with chopsticks. It’s so dumb I can’t even be bothered to expend energy on expressing anger towards it But rather this is yet another example of a misguided diva creative director in the upper echelons of the industry throwing his weight around and vomiting over social media in a reckless manner that impacts on a billion dollar company with thousands of employees as well as umpteen parts of the industry that would have been flown into Shanghai for what was supposed to be a media/celebrity fuelled extravaganza It makes a total mockery of an industry that is by and large full of hard working people that don’t grab headlines but are just making a living doing what they love It gives fuel to people who already think fashion is full of laughable airs and graces, and contributes little to society at large There are people of a certain generation in fashion that look down upon the moral finger wagging that they think is a malaise of our current times but back in the “good old days” of indulgent tantrums, it was also an industry largely talking amongst itself The fashion world has grown exponentially in size and economic rewards and so is rightly under increased scrutiny. If you want a bigger slice of the profit pie, then buck up and listen to the people. Heed the social media outcry or face sinking to irrelevance The fact of the matter is this won’t be the last in the line of botched up bad PR cover-ups (“hacked social media accounts” indeed) and neither is Stefano Gabbana the only tone deaf individual knocking around the upper ranks. Question is when will the industry truly grow up and be AWAKE, instead of simply putting on a front of marketing-obtained wokeness
Model Estelle Chen, who walked in this month’s Victoria’s Secret show, posted an open letter to the brand on Instagram. “You got it all wrong because we aren’t dumb,” she wrote. “You don’t love China, you love money. China is rich yes but China is rich in its values, its culture and its people and they won’t spend a penny on a brand that does not respect that.”
Influencers Susie Bubble and Leaf Greener also took to Instagram to express their disgust.
“Even in the 21st century, there are still some western brands who look at China with colored eyes and post-colonialism mentality. Even if they value China, they will still regard China as a consumer market not a creative place, and some of them will not sincerely and rationally respect Chinese culture and Chinese people,” said Greener.
“This is yet another example of a misguided diva creative director in the upper echelons of the industry throwing his weight around and vomiting over social media in a reckless manner that impacts on a billion-dollar company with thousands of employees.” wrote Bubble. “It makes a total mockery of an industry that is by and large full of hard working people that don’t grab headlines but are just making a living doing what they love.”
Gabbana is not the only culprit, Bubble continued, pointing out that this is just the latest episode in a much wider malaise. So what will it taken then, for the fashion industry to wake up and take action?