Dolce & Gabbana founders apologize for video to China


07:24 PST 11/24/2018


The Associated Press

"We love their culture and we certainly have a lot to learn. That's why we feel very sorry if we make mistakes in the way we express ourselves," said the designers after provoking a racist controversy over a campaign on social networks.

Dolce & Gabbana co-founders apologized on Friday for a video on Chinese social media after promotional videos seen as racist and subsequent Instagram messages have provoked a furor in one of the world's largest luxury goods markets.

Domenico Dolce and Steffano Gabbana appeared in a video of almost a minute and a half posted on Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter, saying they expect to be forgiven and will do their best to understand and respect Chinese culture better.

"We were always in love with China," Dolce said. "We love their culture and we certainly have a lot to learn. This is why we feel very sorry if we make mistakes in the way we express ourselves."

The Italian fashion house has been in hot water for the videos and subsequent insulting comments made by the company's Instagram accounts and Gabbana. He blamed hackers for Instagram comments.

The three promotional videos, which were excluded from the company's Weibo account, feature a Chinese woman using chopsticks to eat pizza and other Italian foods. Many Chinese social media users have found videos racist and full of outdated stereotypes.

In the video of apologies, the two designers wore long-sleeved black shirts, the type they usually wear at parades, and sat with their hands clasped on a large conference table in a room decorated with gold-colored formal wallpaper.

"We will never forget this experience and it will certainly never happen again," said Gabbana, adding: "From the bottom of our hearts, we ask for forgiveness." They end the video saying "sorry" in Chinese.

The reaction forced Dolce & Gabbana to cancel a major extravaganza earlier this week which the company had announced as one of its biggest shows outside of Italy. Chinese purchases at home and abroad account for about 30% of global sales of luxury goods.

Several screen shots showed the Gabbana Instagram account referring to China with terms and coarse emoticons while he was defending promotional videos.

Zhang Ziyi, who starred in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, said in one of his social media accounts that the Italian brand had "been disgraced." Chinese pop idol Karry Wang and actress Dilireba, both ambassadors for Asia-Pacific, have told the company they will close down all cooperation.

The aftermath spread to Hong Kong on Friday with the high-profile department store Lane Crawford joining Chinese retailers who stopped selling Dolce & Gabbana products.

"With regard to our customers, we have removed the brand from all stores in mainland China, online and in Hong Kong," Lane Crawford chairman Andrew Keith said in a statement.

Dolce & Gabbana products have disappeared from major Chinese e-commerce sites, including Alibaba's Tmall and A duty-free shop at Haikou Meilan Airport on the Chinese island of Hainan announced on social media that it had withdrawn all of the company's products.


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