Last week, Dolce & Gabbana made headlines for a racially insensitive video promoting the brand’s now-canceled Shanghai show. Following the accusations of racism, founder Stefano Gabbana was shown to have made racist comments against the Chinese via a direct message exchange on Instagram with London-based fashion writer Michaela Phuong Thanh Tranova. The Italian brand and Gabbana were quick to release an apology stating that the accounts were hacked and that he would never have said such things.
After news that major Chinese retailers and global retail partner Yoox Net-a-Porter have dropped Dolce & Gabbana, the designers have released an apology video in Italian with Chinese and English subtitles.
In the video, Domenico Dolce says, “We have always been in love with China. We’ve visited it and seen many of its cities. We love your culture and we certainly have much to learn. That is why we are sorry if we made mistakes in the way we expressed ourselves.” Gabbana adds, “We will never forget this experience and it will certainly never happen again. In fact, we will work to do things better. We will respect the Chinese culture in every way possible. From the bottom of our hearts we ask for forgiveness.”
The lucrative Chinese market represents a third of the world’s total spending on luxury products — or more than $100 billion. Despite their efforts at damage control, it remains to be seen whether the designers’ apology is too little, too late.