News & Runway

Dolce & Gabbana’s Shanghai Show Is Canceled Following Accusations of Racism

Breaking News: Dolce and Gabbana and Stefano Gabbana’s Instagrams have been hacked! Possibly.

Luxury brand Dolce and Gabbana (D&G) were planning a fashion show in Shanghai inspired by Chinese culture called “DG The Great Show.” They released multiple video advertisements promoting the show, but one stood out — for the wrong reasons. Diet Prada, who is known for calling out fashion brands on problematic issues, criticized a (now removed) D&G instructional video demonstrating how to use chopsticks on a giant Italian cannoli. What was supposed to honor Chinese culture turned into a video that demeaned it. Diet Prada described the video as a “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 (English added by us), which begs the question—who is this video actually for? It attempts to target China, but instead mocks them with a parodied vision of what modern China is not…a gag for amusement.”

Outrage ensued, especially with London-based fashion writer Michaela Phuong Thanh Tranova who called out the brand on her personal Instagram story. She took a screenshot of Diet Prada’s re-upload of the D&G instructional video and captioned it with, “WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK?! SRSLY, WHO STILL BUYS FCKIN DOLSHITE&BANANA?!! DONT PEOPLE REALISE HOW TRASH THE BAND AND THE FOUNDERS VALUES ARE?!! gtfo @dolcegabbana, you need to be cancelled smh.”

Surprisingly, founder of the brand, Stefano Gabbana, replied to her story. In the conversation between the two, Tranova called out Gabbana for the racist video. Gabbana tried to defend himself with a tone-deaf reply and assumption that all Chinese people eat dogs: “If the Chinese feel offended by a girl who spells pizza or pasta with chopsticks means that those Chinese feel inferior… and then it’s a problem not ours !!! The whole world knows that the Chinese eat with chopsticks and that the Westerners with a fork and knife !!! Is this racism ?? Hahaha you are not comfortable with the brain. So you are racist because you eat dogs? All the worldwide know your attitude for excemple with the dogs!!!! So at this point you are more racist then our.”

After Tranova released screenshots of the chat, Dolce & Gabbana and Gabbana released apologies on Instagram and claims that they were hacked. Their dubious defense is that it was not actually Gabbana who was speaking to Tranova. The Instagram post states, “My Instagram account has been hacked. My legal office is working on this. I love China and the Chinese Culture. I’m so sorry for what happened.”

As a result of the backlash and accusations of racism, the show has been canceled by the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Shanghai. Dolce & Gabbana posted a response a few hours ago:

This isn’t the first time the designers have outraged people. From gang-rape themed ads to racist collections to comments about IVF babies and non-traditional families, the duo has been known to provoke controversy.