Dolce & Gabbana cancels fashion show

Dolce & Gabbana cancels fashion show

It's the latest backlash against a Western company's marketing in China, whose consumers spent more than US$100 billion on luxury purchases past year - nearly a third of the global total - and are no longer willing to tolerate campaigns perceived as patronizing or disrespectful. So has the account of Stefano Gabbana.

Dolce & Gabbana's trouble comes at a time when global luxury brands are increasingly dependent on China to drive growth. However, the apology did not mollify Chinese consumers and the company soon found its products were being pulled from Chinese store shelves and online retailers, such as Alibaba's Tmall and JD.com. A commentary on the WeChat account of the official People's Daily said the Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued a cancellation notice for the event. "But most brands are quite careful, they don't do things that are humorous".

The designers concluded the video by saying "sorry" in Chinese. The country has established itself as an economic powerhouse, which means Western brands trying to enter the market need to get rid of dated ideas of "the west is best" and come up with sophisticated and nuanced ways to cater to new markets. Gap pulled a T-shirt featuring a map of China that left out territories claimed by Beijing.

The controversy arose after the brand posted short clips on Instagram showing a Chinese woman eating pizza, spaghetti and a cannoli with chopsticks that some deemed culturally insensitive. According to WWD, a number of Chinese retailers - including Alibaba, JD, Secoo, VIPshop, and Netease - have also dropped the house from its site. The narrator also pronounced "Dolce & Gabbana" in a Chinese accent and called the chopsticks "stick-shaped cutlery". The closely held brand has sales of nearly 1 billion euros (US$1.1 billion), according to Bloomberg data.

The scandal was exacerbated after the fashion house's cofounder Stefano Gabbana was accused of posting inappropriate comments on his Instagram account.

D&G has been deserted by a growing list of celebrities in the fallout.

More news: Maurizio Sarri doubts he will keep job at Chelsea without trophies

Celebrities including "Memoirs of a Geisha" movie star Zhang Ziyi criticized the brand, while singer Wang Junkai said he had terminated an agreement to be the brand's ambassador.

"You don't love China, you love money", wrote French-Chinese model Estelle Chan, who withdrew from the show.

The co-founders of Dolce&Gabbana apologized Friday in a video on Chinese social media after promotional videos seen as racist and subsequent Instagram messages stoked a furor in one of the world's largest markets for luxury goods.

The videos, still available on the label's Instagram, was heavily criticised on Chinese social media platform Weibo and was subsequently taken down from the website within 24 hours. The clips could still be viewed on the company's Instagram account.

In an attempt to salvage their reputation in the world's most important luxury market, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana capped a 1 minute 30-second mea culpa by saying "sorry" in Mandarin in a video posted on YouTube and Chinese social media platform today.

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