Recently, Italian fashion house – Dolce and Gabbana – found itself in the midst of yet another controversy after releasing highly offensive and racist videos. The videos, which featured an Asian model struggling to eat Italian food with chopsticks, were released as a supposed “Tribute to China” and were meant to promote their upcoming show in Shanghai. After being posted, the videos sparked public outrage as they perpetuated the antiquated stereotype that the Chinese lacked refinement and are so unintelligent that they were unaware of how to eat foreign foods. What is particularly interesting is the fact that the Chinese audience themselves were in fact the target audience, so I am curious as to how the designers thought the videos would play out.
To add further fuel to the fire, screenshots of Stefano Gabbana’s Instagram DM conversations were leaked. Here, Stefano was seen insulting the Chinese and referring to China as a “country of shit” [sic.] and accusing them of feeling “inferior” due to the negative reaction that the video garnered. These are just some of the examples of some of the highly distasteful comments that were made by Stefano in the messages. Such behaviour did not come as a shock to anyone who has followed Stefano’s erratic and outlandish attitude over the years, he attempted to cover his tracks by saying that his Instagram was hacked and that the messages were, in fact, not sent by him.
After this series of unfortunate events, Dolce and Gabbana’s Chinese customers began a revolt of sorts; people were seen burning or discarding of items that were made by the fashion house in question. The reaction and uproar was probably the most satisfying aspect of the entire situation and of course, the designers were forced to cancel their show (probably because it would’ve been empty ASF and they would’ve been incredibly embarrassed.)
Although what happened was incredibly disrespectful, as I said before, this is not Stefano’s first brush with controversy. The designer has a habit of being a bit too honest on certain occasions and has almost become an Instagram troll. So, for the sake of fully understanding Stefano’s outlandish behaviour, here is a brief timeline of moments where Stefano (and sometimes Dolce) took things to far:
- In 2015, despite being two gay men themselves, Domenico and Stefano stated in an interview that they were against same sex parenting and did not support gay adoptions, going so far as to say that the only real family was the traditional one. The later stated they were anti-IVF, which only made matters worse for them.
- In 2017, Stefano demonstrated public support for First Lady Melania Trump and in addition to dressing her, he went as far as identifying her and a “#DGWOMAN”
- In March 2018, Stefano commented on an Instagram post of Selena Gomez, saying “è proprio brutta” which is the Italian for “she’s so ugly.” This unwarranted attack resulted in Selena’s fans calling him a cyber bully; which Stefano brushed off, letting them know he did not care what they thought.
- In September 2018, Stefano came at Italian blogger Chiara Ferragni, calling her Dior wedding gown “cheap”. Quite frankly, I think he was just jealous that Ferragni chose to wear something designed by Maria Grazia Chuiri, rather than their something from his brand.
After all of this, it is safe to say that the designers are very questionable characters who are not afraid to speak their mind, even though no one asked or particularly cares. Dolce and Gabbana used to be one of my favourite brands because I thought their designs and attention to detail were one in a million. My favourite show of theirs was their Fall 2015 ready to wear collection where female models were accompanied by babies or children in matching outfits.
Now, as well as the unpredictable nature of its designers, the brand has become obsessed with pop culture to the point where they almost abuse it as a way to make more money. To make matters worse, after their most recent racist scandal, the two staged an outlandish show for their Alta Moda show in Milan, which bore an uncanny resemblance to the Dior Couture Fall 2012 collection under Raf Simons.