Oh Dear, Dolce!

As has been seen in recent days with the scandalous Chinese campaign from Dolce & Gabbana, images really are a powerful tool that can make or break even the most acclaimed brands. With the launch of their latest advertisement in alignment with the Shanghai fashion show, the images portray a Chinese girl attempting to eat Italian food with chopsticks. It may have seemed harmless but the backlash has been immense for the brand, with models and celebrities firstly pulling out from the show before they inevitably had to cancel it all together. It probably didn’t help that with the self-proclaimed “hacking” of Stefano Gabbana’s Instagram, it has now deemed the brand as racist and culturally insensitive, something the designers have been labelled throughout the years (read about their past indiscretions here).

With Dolce and Gabbana having been removed from popular Chinese e-commerce sites, such as Yangmatou, who removed 58,000 products from its site, an influx of social media posts with consumers destroying D&G products as well as many returning pieces and recently police being stationed outside the stores in China, it indicates that the brand has a long way to go if they wish to redeem themselves with the Chinese public.

Unfortunately for them, this may not be a very Merry Christmas or Happy New Year as according to a report by the consultancy firm, McKinsey, “Chinese consumers spend over $7 billion a year on luxury products, which counts for about one-third of the global market.” Ouch! As the saying goes, “Every picture tells a story” but obviously, in this case, it was definitely a story D&G wish could be untold. Only time will tell if the brand will be able to redeem themselves to the Chinese public. Our thoughts are good luck and arrivederci.

Matthew Watt