D&G finally gets dumped

How many screw ups does it take for a D&G to be called to account for its racist crap? We are all finding out after a series of campaign ads peddling in cultural stereotypes, followed by racist comments, have rightfully drawn the ire of the Chinese and the fashion industry.

What led us here? A number of ads for the label’s “The Great Show” runway presentation, which was set for November 21 in Shanghai and hashtagged #DGLovesChina. In the ads, a Chinese model was filmed attempting to eat a variety of Italian foods using chopsticks as a voiceover made suggestive comments and intentionally mispronounced many of the non-Chinese words.

Was it racist? We thought so and we’re of the view that the un-offended don’t get to make that determination. We know the backlash eventually caused D&G to cancel its runway show in Shanghai last week, and cost them numerous Chinese retailers and followers. I hope the trashbags learn their lesson. We are doubtful, and tbh, not very optimistic.

And in case you’re still scratching your heads over how racist this actually was, there were also a series of DMs that surfaced as the saga unfolded, allegedly written by designer Stefano Gabbana, later published by my favourite daily commute entertainment – Diet Prada,  prior to the show’s eventual cancellation. Disturbingly but unsurprisingly, Gabbana refers to China as “the country of shit” and says “China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia.”

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Predictably, the label immediately claimed it was a ‘hack’ but the damage was already done. This is the same guy that called Selena Gomez ‘ugly’.

The design partners have since apologized. But let’s be real, this is not the first time they have been accused of racism. From sending “Blackamoor” earrings down the runway in their Spring 2013 collection to 2016's “Slave Sandals”, they just cannot get it right when it comes to cultural sensitivities—not to mention the strange and ironic homophobic position the two openly gay designers hold against gay parent.

In fact, this isn’t even the first time the designing duo has taken jabs at their Asian followers. Earlier this year, they were reported to have said they would be against a Japanese designer succeeding them at their label—a rather specific bias, if they’d simply prefer to continue the Italian legacy.

And admittedly, the fashion industry and media have long had a tenuous relationship with D&G—including The Glow Up. How do we deal with a label that remains a red-carpet favourite of so many of the black stars, including Naomi Campbell, Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, and many more.

So, will the loss of the Chinese market finally get rid of D&G into the sunken place or will they get a 15th chance? We don’t really know. But it is our job to call it out when we see it—even when we’re not the immediate targets.