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There's still trouble for Dolce & Gabbana

The model of the "racist" commercials speaks out and in China the boycott of the brand continues

There's still trouble for Dolce & Gabbana The model of the racist commercials speaks out and in China the boycott of the brand continues

It is said that time heals every wound, but in the fashion world it is not always like that. Ask Dolce & Gabbana that about two months later they are still paying the consequences of what happened when the brand ended up in trouble with China after the publication of the now famous promotional videos perceived as racists. We are talking about those in which a young oriental woman, awkward, she eats pizza, spaghetti and a Sicilian cannoli with traditional chopsticks, while off-screen, a male voice, between a double meaning and sexist allusions, gives her advice on how to approach those Italian dishes. It was not enough to cancel the huge show that was supposed to take place at the Shanghai Expo. Neither it was enough the clumsy apology arrive to two days by the fact that seemed a further mockery. 

The duo of designers continues to be the target of the boycott started as an immediate response to the incriminated commercials and offenses to the Chinese population arrived from the Instagram account of Stefano Gabbana (provocative statements like "China is a shit country" or "China Ignorant dirty smelly Mafia").

D&G products, underlines in a recent Business of Fashion article, continue to be banned from Chinese e-commerce, Alibaba and giants such as Tmall, and Suning, but also on the western Net-a-Porter and Farfetch. All of this, of course, will have repercussions on the economic side. According to the London-based consulting agency Brand Finance, the amount of the damage could be $ 937 million, or about 20 percent of the value of the brand. A real debacle considering that, according to recent projections, China is destined to become the main luxury market by the end of the year and that in 2018 the total turnover of D&G amounted to € 1.29 billion, of which the 25 per cent, or 320 million, coming from the Asian area and in particular from China, where the brand has a branch in Shanghai, one in Beijing and 54 shops around the country. Furthermore, it seems that on the main local social network, Weibo, the Italian company has been nominated 97 percent few times compared to the average of the previous four months, while until last November, among the luxury brands, it was the one surrounded from major hype. Also from Weibo, another bad news comes for Stefano and Domenico: the model, the protagonist of the controversial videos has decided to speak.

Zuo Ye explained that she remained silent so as not to further exacerbate people, but that she is now ready to clarify things. She goes on to explain that she has agreed to work for an international brand to improve her career (career that now says has almost been killed off) and to have been unaware of the content of advertising. The girl confesses, however, that, on set, she had expressed doubts about the use of chopsticks, but, not listened to,  continued to follow the instructions given to her.

 "I felt awkward when using chopsticks for food that was larger than the normal size. I seldom laugh in my daily life but the shooting required a lot of extravagant acting and I felt very uncomfortable, too,"

wrote Zuo on the social platform emphasizing:

"Personally I would never show any disrespect to my motherland. I love my country and feel proud to be able to represent China on the catwalk. I will draw a lesson from this and show the Chinese in a better light. Again, I apologise to my fellow countrymen."

Result? Few forgave her admitting that decision-making power was not in her hands, while most of the users accused her of "making money insulting their country" and "denigrating the image of the Chinese". What other chapter will have the diatribe between Dolce & Gabbana and China?