The luxury fashion house's co-founder Stefano Gabbana allegedly referred to Chinese people as "Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia.”
Dolce & Gabbana is arguably one the worlds most lauded, recognizable and critically acclaimed fashion houses. In one of its latest ventures, the fashion house was set to orchestrate an epic runway show in Shanghai titled "Great Fashion Show" consisting of 500 looks in the time span of one hour. Following the release of the event's ad campaign and a leak allegedly exposing the fashion house's co-founder Stefano Gabbana racist remarks, however, it became evident that things perhaps weren't as "Great" as they seemed.
The "Great Fashion Show" first became the subject of controversy after receiving an overwhelmingly negative response to an official video campaign posted to tease the occasion. In one segment, a Chinese model can be seen attempting to dine on signature Italian dishes using chopsticks. Instagram account Diet Prada shared the aforementioned video using the opportunity to make an astute observation. "[The video is] painting their target demographic as a tired and false stereotype of a people lacking refinement/culture to understand how to eat foreign foods and an over-the-top embellishment of cliché ambient music, comical pronunciations of foreign names/words, and Chinese subtitles, which begs the question—who is this video actually for?"
Shortly after, Diet Prada released screenshots of a conversation between Gabbana and model Michaela Tranova who criticized the ad campaign for its racist undertones. In response to Tranova, Gabbana suggested that Tranova was herself is racist for “eating dogs” and that “the country of poop emojis] is China.” He then added “China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia.” Fans and fashion heavyweights were outraged and began talks of boycotting the brand.
House before "Great Fashion Show," D&G released a statement declaring Gabbana's account was hacked. Later in the day, the show was canceled by Shanghai officials. "What happened today was very unfortunate not only for us, but also for all the people who worked day and night to bring this event to life," D&G told Buzzfeed News. "From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to express our gratitude to our friends and guests."