The founders of world-famous Italian fashion brand, Dolce & Gabbana, have in a recent video, apologized to China. This comes days after the brand’s latest marketing campaign in China, was seen as ‘controversial and derogatory’. The 1.5 minute long video was posted on China’s version of Twitter, Weibo, last Friday.
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In case you have no idea what’s going on, here are some details:
The luxury fashion house, Dolce & Gabbana, have faced very serious backlash in recent times, over their social media campaign in China. This campaign was made to advertise their upcoming fashion show in the country, which has since been cancelled.
Three promotional videos were published on the company’s Weibo account. But for one of these videos, which featured a Chinese woman hustling to eat Italian food (slice of pizza and pasta) with chopsticks, users were not so pleased. Furthermore, in the background was a narrator giving her eating lessons in a ‘patronizing’ tone.
To make matters worse, some screenshots of private chats with founder, Stefano Gabbana surfaced the internet. In those chats, Stefano allegedly made insulting remarks about the Chinese culture. He referred to them as “China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia” and used the smiling poo emoji to describe the country.
However, the company have said that these are untrue as their accounts were compromised and hacked.
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This video caused an outrage among the Chinese public, leading to many top Chinese citizens taking action.
Chinese celebrities, top models and users alike responded to this with a boycott of the D&G event.
“Zhang Ziyi, who starred in ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,’ said on one of her social media accounts that the Italian brand had ‘disgraced itself.’ Chinese pop idol Karry Wang and actress Dilireba, both Asia-Pacific brand ambassadors, have informed the company that they will terminate all cooperation”, reported AP News.
Also, several e-commerce sites pulled down D&G products as a show of support to China.
“Retailer Lane Crawford said it would pull the brand from its stores and online sites in mainland China and Hong Kong, after customers had returned Dolce & Gabbana items”, Reuters.com wrote.
Chinese super e-commerce platform, Alibaba, have also removed Dolce & Gabbana products.
Dolce & Gabbana have apologized in a 85 second long video
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have sent a heartfelt apology in a video to China. Dressed in all black long-sleeves, they said;
“We have always been in love with China. 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. ”
“In the face of our cultural misunderstanding, we hope that we can earn your forgiveness,” Dolce added.
“We will never forget this experience and it will certainly never happen again…From the bottom of our hearts, we ask for forgiveness.”
They ended the video by saying “sorry” in Chinese.
Chinese users do not seem to be convinced
One angry user left a comment under Dolce & Gabbana’s Instagram post, saying,
“We don’t have to accept your apology. Go and make money in other countries, there’s none for you here in China”.
Another added, “Trying to make Chinese money and looking down on Chinese people”. Several other comments featured people “Standing for China” from their respective countries.
Dolce&Gabbana: Video Apology to China posted on social media
Moreover, this is not the first controversy by Dolce & Gabbana in China. Last year, the brand came under fire on social media, for a series of advertisements showing the ‘dirty’ side of Chinese life.