Dolce & Gabbana Cancels Shanghai Runway Show, Blames Controversial China Posts on Hack

Venturelli/FilmMagic
Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce

The Italian fashion house posted the series "Eating with Chopsticks" on their Instagram account.

Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana has sparked racism controversy over a social media campaign that included a series of China-themed videos posted on its Instagram account over the weekend depicting an Asian model using chopsticks to eat Italian foods.

The company on Wednesday abruptly canceled a runway show scheduled for later in the day in Shanghai, apologized and blamed the posts on a hack.

Each video depicted the model trying to use chopsticks to eat Italian food with subtitles in the Chinese language.

"Our Instagram account has been hacked. So has the account of Stefano Gabbana," the fashion house said on Wednesday. "Our legal office is urgently investigating. We are very sorry for any distress caused by these unauthorized posts. We have nothing but respect for China and the people of China."

According to an article on the Chinese news site Jing Daily, the videos were posted to Weibo, but since the backlash had been swift they have since been deleted. The posts were deemed racist by the website due to the model’s “stereotypical” look and the background’s decor, which had been labeled as outdated."

In April 2017, D&G’s #DGLovesChina campaign also upset Chinese customers, which depicted models being photographed with locals from China, according to Jing Daily.

Other controversies from the Italian house have included insensitive comments regarding IVF children from designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana back in 2015. And in 2016 the brand named a shoe they designed the ‘slave sandal.’ Earlier this year Gabbana called pop star Selena Gomez ugly.

The designers later posted a statement on Twitter, writing, "Our dream was to bring to Shanghai a tribute event dedicated to China which tells our history and vision. It was not simply a fashion show, but something that we created especially with love and passion for China and all the people around the world who [love] Dolce & Gabbana."

They continued: "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. From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to express our gratitude to our friends and guests."

The original posts can be viewed below.

Nov. 21, 8:47 a.m. Updated with Dolce & Gabbana's Twitter statement.