Dolce & Gabbana cancels Shanghai show after 'racist' chopsticks ad sparks controversy

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor

Dolce & Gabbana is facing backlash after circulating an ad campaign circulating on social media that many are calling “racist.”

As a result, the fashion house canceled its Wednesday show in Shanghai, releasing a statement on its Twitter account in an attempt to clear the air.


Instagram account @diet_prada, which acts as an unofficial watchdog for the fashion industry, shared a post with its 843,000 followers confirming the news.


Fashion designers Stefano Gabbana, left, and Domenico Dolce at Milan Fashion Week in 2016. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

The same Instagram account shared the fashion house’s video advertisement on Tuesday, which features a Chinese woman trying to eat a giant cannoli with a pair of chopsticks.

In the so-called instructional video, the woman fails to pick up the pastry and looks confused by the pastry on her plate. The voiceover in the video also mispronounces Dolce & Gabbana.

The account called the video “hella offensive” — and it wasn’t the only one who felt that way.


One person commented: “This is racist as f*** and D&G belong in the bin.”

Another person wrote: “It has clearly touched a nerve. This video offends me.”

Others weighed in on Twitter to express their disbelief and disgust with the fashion house.




To make matters worse, Stefano Gabbana, co-founder of the brand, allegedly sent messages to @diet_prada’s Michaela Tranova, slamming the “China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia.”


He has since denied he wrote the messages, claiming he was “hacked” in an Instagram post on his personal account.


It is likely Gabbana will work to repair his relationship with consumers in China, where Dolce & Gabbana has outlets in 25 different cities, according to store listings. Chinese consumers constitute almost a third of the global luxury market, making up 500 billion yuan (roughly $72 billion) in annual spending, according to a 2017 McKinsey report.

This is not the first time the brand has sparked controversy. Most recently, Gabbana called Italian blogger Chiara Ferragni’s Dior wedding gown “cheap.” He also called Selena Gomez “ugly” and reportedly spoke out against gay parents adopting, which prompted a response from Elton John.

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