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Hong Kong and China drop Dolce & Gabbana

Controversial ad campaign and Stefano Gabbana’s social media rant calling China ‘a country of s***’

The world’s biggest online luxury goods retailer Yoox Net-a-Porter, and Hong Kong-based luxury department store operator Lane Crawford, have joined Chinese retailers in dropping Dolce & Gabbana products after it offended Chinese partners and internet users this week.

Andrew Keith, president of Lane Crawford, told the Post: “With respect to our customers, we have taken the decision to remove Dolce & Gabbana from all stores in China, online and in Hong Kong.” The decision would take effect at 1pm on Friday, Lane Crawford said.

Earlier this week, China-based online retailers Alibaba, JD, Secoo, VIPshop and NetEase dropped Dolce & Gabbana from their websites.

Yoox Net-a-Porter, which is owned by global luxury conglomerate Richemont, operates Net-a-Porter, Mr Porter, The Outnet and Yoox – collectively the world’s main destination for online luxury goods purchases. It recently announced a joint venture with Alibaba to target Chinese consumers.

The moves by retailers came after screenshots were circulated online showing the Italian label’s co-founder Stefano Gabbana referring to China using crude language and emoji as he defended promotional videos that had sparked controversy earlier

A private conversation between Gabbana and an Instagram user was first made public by diet_prada, a famous Instagram account known for calling out fashion brands caught copying designs or making other glaring faux pas.

The Italian luxury fashion house apologised and said both accounts had been hacked. “We have nothing but respect for China and the people of China,” it wrote.

The apology was too late to save a major extravaganza in Shanghai that Dolce & Gabbana had billed as one of its biggest shows ever outside of Italy.

Major Chinese celebrities threatened to boycott the event, which had been scheduled for Wednesday night, and the company finally called it off. Actress Zhang Ziyi, who starred in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, said that the Italian brand had “disgraced itself.”

Recent searches for Dolce & Gabbana on the US and Hong Kong websites of Net-a-Porter produced no results and the brand is not on the designer lists of the sites.

 

 

 

SCMP/AP

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