Dolce & Gabbana founders have issued a general apology for the events that led to the label’s November 20, 2018 Shanghai runway show being cancelled after VIP invitees and models announced they would boycott the event. Sitting at an office table, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana took turns speaking in Italian and both began by apologizing. The video ended with both designers saying sorry in Mandarin.
The Controversy began with a visual campaign featuring a Chinese model who was tasked with using chopsticks to attempt to eat unwieldy items like pizza and cannolo. The videos were viewed as both condescending and culturally insensitive.
The label might have survived the video campaign, but when a private Instagram exchange, in which Gabbana describes China as a shit country, was published on the popular @diet_prada site, VIP invitees and models began to announce they would boycott the event. It’s not clear if the government forced the cancellation or Dolce & Gabanna shut down the event. Initially the label blamed the ugly exchange by Gabbana on being hacked.
The video was first moved from Chinese social media and has now been scrubbed from popular U.S. and Western European popular social media sites.
Whether the apology can repair the damage done, the brand’s products have been pulled by department store Lane Crawford, YNAP Group, TMall and jd.com, among others.
Check out a translation of the apology below.
Dolce: “We thought a lot over the past few days and with much regret about what has happened to us and for what we have caused in your country and we deeply apologize. Our families always taught us to show respect for all different cultures around the world and for this we are sorry if we made mistakes in interpreting yours.”
Gabbana: “We would like to apologize to all the Chinese around the world because there are many, and we take this apology and this message very seriously.”
Dolce: “We have always been very much in love with China and we always visited this country and many cities many times and we love your culture. Surely, we have many things to learn and for this reason we apologize if we made mistakes in expressing ourselves.”
Gabbana: “We will certainly not forget this experience and surely this kind of thing will never happen again, actually we will try to do better and we will respect the Chinese culture in every way. From the bottom of our hearts, we ask for your forgiveness.”
Both: “Dui bu qi” [“Sorry” in Mandarin]
Check out their apology below.