The co-founders of Dolce & Gabbana on Friday demand "China's forgiveness", trying to save the key market of the luxury brand after returning against its latest advertising campaign.
PHOTO PHOTO – Italian designers Domenico Dolce (R) and Stefano Gabbana acknowledge applause at the end of the women's collection collection D & G Spring / Summer 2012 during Milan Fashion Week on September 22, 2011. REUTERS / Stefano Rellandini
The Italian fashion house canceled a show in Shanghai on Wednesday after a well-known personality and social network users threatened the boycott of the campaign, which led e-commerce companies to withdraw items from Dolce & Gabbana on Thursday.
Furor is one of the most famous fashion brands in China, where Louis Vuitton rivals from LVMH (LVMH.PA) to Kering's (PRTP.PA) Gucci tried to expand.
Chinese customers make up more than a third of the cost of luxury products around the world and buy more and more in the home rather than on overseas travel.
Users hit a video campaign in which a Chinese woman is struggling to eat pizza and pasta with wands while the narrator offers eating a lesson with a patronizing tone.
The error was balanced when the screenshots circulated through Instagram's private conversation, in which designer Stefano Gabbana referred to "China's ignorant dirty fragrant mafia" and used funny poems to describe the country. The company said Gabban's account was hacked.
In a video apology on Friday, Gabbana and co-founder Domenico Dolce said they "seriously reflected" and were grieved by the impacts of their words.
"Given our cultural misunderstanding, we hope that we can make you a forgiving," said Dolce, speaking in Italian, in a video by two designers sitting next to each other.
A 85-second video with Chinese subtitles was posted on the Chinese TV platform, Veibo.
Gabbana also sought forgiveness and offered an official apology to the Chinese people around the world. The designers finished the video pronouncing in Mandarin.
"We will never forget this experience and lesson, and such things will never be repeated," Gabana said.
This is not the first Dolphin & Gabbana in China, where last year the brand was planted on social media for a series of commercials that show the bourgeois side of Chinese life.
Other disasters came and went to China without the occurrence of permanent damage, including brands such as Keringova Balenciaga, who apologized in April as a reaction to how some clients in China were treated in Paris.
However, the crisis for Dolce & Gabbana on Friday did not show any sign of relief. Seller Lane Cravford said he would withdraw the brand from his stores and online sites across China and Hong Kong after customers returned items to Dolce & Gabbana.
Most of the comments posted under the video source on Veibo were also critical.
"We do not have to accept your apology. Go and make money in other countries, there is no one in China for you," one user wrote.
Reporting Adam Jourdan to SHANGHAI and Donny Knox at HONG KONG; additional reporting from the Shanghai office; Editing would be Darren Schuettler