China celebrities break off relationships with D&G after controversy

China celebrities break off relationships with D&G after controversy
People walk past a Dolce & Gabbana store at a shopping complex in Shanghai
PHOTO: Reuters

Many Chinese celebrities have issued public statements cancelling further co-operation with Italian fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana after it posted a controversial video on Sunday that many deemed racist against Chinese people.

The brand's ambassador in China, singer-actor Wang Junkai, announced via his studio that he and his office have broken off any previous engagement with the luxury brand.

"The premise of co-operation lies on exchange on equal grounds and mutual respect, as well as respect for each other's culture and history. One's motherland is not to be infringed upon, and one's motherland stands above all.

We here announce to rescind the contract with Dolce & Gabbana.

Starting tomorrow, Wang Junkai and Wang Junkai Studio will terminate all co-operation with Dolce & Gabbana," according to a statement released on the official Sina Weibo account of the star's studio last night.

Actress Dilraba Dilmurat, who has served as the brand's ambassador in the Asia-Pacific region, also issued an official statement rescinding all engagement with Dolce & Gabbana after the incident.

"Beyond all doubt, you are the best CN (China)," singer-actor Wang Junkai wrote on his Weibo account. Photo: Weibo account of Wang Junkai

Wang personally showed support for his nation through social media as well.

"Beyond all doubt, you are the best CN (China)," the actor wrote on his Weibo account.

"Love you, our beloved motherland♥CN," actress Dilraba Dilmurat wrote on her Weibo account.Photo: Weibo account of Dilraba Dilmurat

Dilraba echoed Wang's attitude with a post on her Weibo account, which read "Love you, our beloved motherland♥CN."

Furious A-listers, boycotting models and a cancelled show

The clip released by Dolce & Gabbana on its Instagram and Sina Weibo accounts show a female Asian model in a glitzy red Dolce & Gabbana dress using chopsticks to eat pizza and other Italian foods.

It was intended to promote the Shanghai show, but sparked outcry in China for its insensitivity, in part because of the model awkwardly attempting to eat Western food with chopsticks.

Early Wednesday morning, in a chat on Instagram between a netizen named "michaelatranova" and someone using the personal account of Stefano Gabbana, one of the brand's co-founders, Gabbana allegedly made insulting references toward China and Chinese people.

Dolce & Gabbana posted an announcement on its Weibo account saying: "Our Instagram account has been hacked. So has the account of Stefano Gabbana. Our legal office is urgently investigating. We are sorry for any distress caused by these unauthorized posts. We have nothing but respect for China and the people of China."

Chinese celebs proclaim love of country after D&G racist ad incurs wrath of netizens

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    D&G's post on Chinese social media platform Weibo to promote its upcoming runway show in Shanghai have been accused of leaning heavily on Chinese stereotypes, causing heated discussion on social media platforms both at home and abroad

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    The series of 'ads' showed a Chinese woman being told how to use chopsticks to eat Italian food like pizza and spaghetti.

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    Early Wednesday morning, in a chat on Instagram between a netizen named "michaelatranova" and someone using the personal account of Stefano Gabbana, one of the brand's co-founders, Gabbana allegedly made insulting references toward China and Chinese people.

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    After the issue blew up, Steffano then claimed that his account was hacked.

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    Several Chinese celebrities including Zhang Ziyi, Li Bingbing, Wang Junkai and Chen Kun had confirmed their absence from the brand's "The Great Show" fashion show before the brand announced cancellation officially.

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    The brand's China ambassador Dilraba Dilmurat has deleted all posts related to the brand and said on Weibo, "I love you, my dearest country, China."

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    Wang Junkai had also terminated his working relationship with the Italian brand.

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    Chinese actress Li Bingbing pulled out of the show and posted a proclamation on Weibo in response to the debacle.

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    D&G posted a response on Instagram, but did not apologise.

Indignation arose among Chinese netizens, with many calling on Wednesday for the show to be canceled. A-list celebrities such as Chen Kun, Huang Xiaoming and Li Bingbing said they would not attend.

Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi wrote "Self humiliation" on her Weibo account, alongside a picture responding to Gabbana's remarks. 

"Self humiliation", wrote actress Zhang Ziyi on her Weibo account. Photo: Weibo

Many Chinese modelling agencies, as well as models who were scheduled to walk the show, also said they would not be attending the event after the incident.

Dolce & Gabbana cancelled “The Great Show”, originally scheduled to be held last night in Shanghai, hours before it was scheduled to begin.

The brand did not give further details about the cancellation.

D&G products pulled from Chinese e-commerce platforms

Major Chinese e-commerce platforms have removed all products under the brand of Dolce & Gabbana since Wednesday evening, according to a report by jinronghu.com.

ALSO READ: Is Dolce & Gabbana actually booting out co-founder Stefano?

They include three e-commerce giants Tmall, JD and Suning, cross-border e-commerce platforms NetEase Kaola and Ymatou, luxury e-commerce companies Secoo and Vip.com, and Yhd.com.

That means outside of the official China website of the Italian fashion company, the brand's major e-commerce sales channels in the Chinese market have been practically cut off.

In addition, the duty-free shop at Haikou Meilan International Airport also announced on Thursday it has taken all Dolce & Gabbana products off the shelves.

According to financial data released by the company in September, its revenue declined to 1.290 billion euros in the fiscal year ending March 31, from 1.296 billion euros in the previous fiscal year.

While Italy, accounting for 24 percent of its total sales, is still the company’s main market, other parts of Europe, the Americas, Japan, China and other regions accounted for 27 percent, 13 percent, 6 percent and 30 percent of its total sales.

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