The row between Dolce & Gabbana and China continues.
Just days after the Italian fashion house was forced to cancel a fashion show in Shanghai following accusations of racism, the fallout has grown.
A number of e-commerce sites in China have removed Dolce & Gabbana products from their pages as consumers across the country called for a boycott of the brand. Those sites dropping the brand include Kaola, Secoo, Yoox Net-a-Porter, Alibaba, and JD.com. CNN further reports that Yangmatou had removed thousands of Dolce & Gabbana products from its pages, and retailer Lane Crawford will no longer offer the brand in store or online.
The designer brand shared an ad across social media channels that depicted a Chinese model eating various Italian foods with chopsticks, which many users saw as racist stereotyping.
Chinese people are some of the biggest consumers of luxury goods, accounting for a third of spending on such items worldwide, according to The Guardian. As these consumers increasingly purchase goods domestically, rather than abroad, a boycott in China could have serious implications for Dolce & Gabbana’s bottom line.
The brand’s founders issued a video apology on Friday, offering their “sincerest apologies to Chinese people worldwide,” and noting that they have “nothing but respect for China and the people of China.”
“Our families have always taught us to respect the various cultures in all the world,” Dolce explained, “and this is why we want to ask for your forgiveness if we have made mistakes in interpreting yours.”
“We’ve 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,” he continued.
“We will never forget this experience and it will certainly never happen again,” Gabbana said. “From the bottom of our hearts we ask for forgiveness.”
The video was posted with Chinese subtitles on Weibo and with English subtitles on Twitter and other social media channels. It ends with the pair saying the word “sorry” in Mandarin.