Italian fashion label Dolce & Gabbana has cancelled a Shanghai fashion show after a controversial advertising campaign drew fury from Chinese social media, with dozens of local celebrities pledging to boycott any event, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The video ad, portraying a glamorous Chinese model attempting to eat Italian food with chopsticks, was deemed racist by many in China’s online community. Movie stars quickly announced withdrew from the upcoming event, including actress Zhang Ziyi, who said that she “will not buy or use” any D&G product in the future.
It went from bad to worse after screenshots of Instagram messages by Stefano Gabanna surfaced, showing a string of derogatory remarks toward China from the Italian designer. Gabanna claims that the comments were not his and that his account was hacked.
Dolce & Gabbana has apologised for any offence caused, confirming that the incidents do not reflect its “love and passion for China.”
“What happened today was very unfortunate not only for us, but also for all the people who worked day and night to bring this event to life,” the company founders said.