Dolce & Gabbana racism row

Dolce & Gabbana Cinese Ad

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star Zhang Ziyi said that she would also boycott the brand.

The designer brand shared an ad across social media channels that depicted a Chinese model eating various Italian foods with chopsticks, which many users saw as racist stereotyping.

The designers raised the ire of the Chinese public further when a fashion Instagram influencer revealed an alleged conversation with co-founder with Stefano Gabbana sharing derogatory comments.

The backlash intensified after screenshots of messages sent from co-founder Stefano Gabbana's Instagram account leaked on the platform, including a message exchange that said the videos were posted "by my will".

Domenico Dolce and Steffano Gabbana appeared in a almost 1 ½ minute video posted on Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter, saying they hope to be forgiven and will do their best to better understand and respect Chinese culture.

According to WWD, China Bentley Modelling agency released an official statement saying 24 of their models who were booked to walk in D&G's first Shanghai fashion show were boycotting the event.

Chinese customers account for over a third of all luxury purchases, with younger buyers in particular attracted by branded goods and willing to splurge on shopping trips overseas, or increasingly, within China.

Alina Ma, associate director of research at market insights firm Mintel, said the ad left Chinese consumers confused and appeared to show the company did not understand them.

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"We've always been in love with China, we've visited it and seen many of its cities". So has the account of Stefano Gabbana.

Dolce and Gabbana. Photo TwitterBryanboy.

The duo expressed hope that China could forgive them for their poor understanding of culture. A major fashion show in Shanghai was cancelled, e-commerce platforms like Alibaba and JD.com took down numerous company's pages, and fashionistas around the world were appalled. The company would do well to acknowledge its mistakes and listen to its customers and social media commentary. In one video, the model struggles to pick up a cannolo with chopsticks, only to have the voiceover ask, "Is it too huge for you?"

The brand is also being deserted by its spokesmen and celebrities in the fallout.

"If you are a brand.in China and competing with local and other global brands, if you show you don't know China, you are not going to appeal to them", she said.

The company said the cancellation of its show in Shanghai was "very unfortunate not only for us, but also for all the people who worked day and night to bring this event to life".

The brand's ambassador in China, singer-actor Wang Junkai, announced via his studio that he and his office have broken off any previous engagement with the luxury brand.

The Chinese-subtitled video - the company's second apology this week over the row - was posted on Weibo, the popular Chinese Twitter-like social media platform where they have close to one million followers.

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