China's e-commerce platforms have removed Dolce & Gabbana products from their websites after its ad campaign was deemed racist and an alleged post by the company's founder claiming "ignorant, dirty" Chinese people eat dogs. 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. A JD.com Inc. spokesman confirmed to Caixin that all relevant items had been removed from its platform in the wake of the controversy.
It erupted into a firestorm after screenshots circulated of an Instagram user's chat with the famously volatile Stefano Gabbana in which he used five smiling poop emojis to talk about China and launched insults at the country and its people. In their apology clip, the designers didn't repeat an earlier allegation that their Instagram accounts were hacked.
Both Gabbana and the brand previously posted that Gabbana's Instagram account had been hacked.
The situation worsened when D&G founder Stefano Gabbana responded to the criticisms on Instagram by posting a series of insulting messages.
Zhang Ziyi, who starred in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", said on one of her social media accounts that the Italian brand had "disgraced itself".
The furore is a setback for one of Italy's best-known fashion brands in China, where rivals from Louis Vuitton of LVMH to Kering's Gucci are vying to expand.
China is outraged with the great Italian brand Dolce & Gabbana after what appears to be back to back controversial stunts by the fashion brand. "We also want to apologize to all of the many Chinese people throughout the world. China has risen, and it's no longer a place for you to simply take our money and leave without showing respect".
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The gaffe is not the first by Dolce & Gabbana in China, even as it pushes to increase its appeal there.
Because Dolce & Gabbana needs China more than China needs them.
"Our mother country is more important than anything, we appreciate the vigour and beauty of our cultural heritage", said the management of Wang Junkai, a hugely popular singer in boyband TFBoys, as they announced his withdrawal.
D&G caused public outcry after the brand posted three short videos on its Instagram and Sina Weibo over the weekend to promote its Shanghai fashion event.
A Dolce & Gabbana store in Shanghai.
But there was an increased chance such controversies could affect sales as buyers became more discerning about brands, some analysts said.
It was reported that around 5,000 global guests had been invited to the show, which was supposed to be the biggest not only in the brand's history, but the biggest among any other foreign competitors' shows in China.