Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana will no longer be taking a bow at what was slated to be the biggest fashion show of their brand's 33-year history after a series of video ads promoting the event were slammed as "racist" on social media.
Chinese e-commerce firm Yangmatou has taken 58,000 Dolce & Gabbana products off its site, saying "the motherland is more important than anything else".
Other major e-business sites such as Suning.com, NetBase and Vip.com have also removed D&G products from their websites.
The latest controversy erupted on Wednesday over an ad campaign featuring clips of a Chinese model in a red, sequined D&G dress struggling to eat Italian dishes like spaghetti and cannoli pastry with a pair of chopsticks.
The controversy compounded when screenshots of Stefano Gabbana's private Instagram insulted China calling it "China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia" and used the poop emoji to describe the country. Screenshots of his insulting comments were circulated online, sparking a backlash in China and forcing the company to postpone its high-profile Shanghai fashion show scheduled for Wednesday.
The designer denied he was the person who wrote the Instagram message, and later the brand released a statement claiming that both of its Instagram accounts had been hacked. The company immediately said Gabbana's account had been hacked.
This comes shortly after celebrities including Zhang Ziyi, Chen Kun, Li Bingbing and singer Karry Wang Junkai declared to boycott of D&G.
Dolce & Gabbana's Chinese marketing scandal is fashion's biggest faux pas since former Christian Dior designer John Galliano's anti-Semitic rant in 2011, and it's potentially far more costly.
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"I am really happy Chinese people are standing up to the discrimination and as money is what these brands want the most from us, we should choose wisely who we give our money to!" said another. Meanwhile, the U.S. declaring trade wars against China did not sit well to the Communist Party.
The brand crisis deepened when messages allegedly written by co-founder Stefano Gabbana, which included offensive comments about Chinese people, went viral.
Wrath over a controversial ad campaign from Dolce & Gabbana (D&G) continues to rage on, in another instance that highlights the need for cultural and political sensitivity among those aiming to cash in on the Chinese consumer.
"We have always been in love with China", Dolce said, according to a translation.
As of 3:30 pm Beijing time, the apology video has not yet been posted on the official Instagram and Twitter accounts of Dolce and Gabbana. His company is now suffering that same fate, with online platforms promptly removing its products and upscale Hong Kong store Lane Crawford following suit in its shops.
Dolce and Gabbana racist email.
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