The scandal’s scope was significant. Some commentators, the majority of whom have requested anonymity, have compared it to the controversy surrounding John Galliano’s firing from Dior in 2011, which followed the release of a film showing the designer using anti-Semitic slurs in a Paris nightclub Dolce & Gabbana. In other words, “an incident that set the precedent” of opposing groups of people.
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are on one side. The two designers join together in 1985 to create a brand (which today generates sales of more than €1 billion annually) that was influence by sexy, iconic Italian iconography, including Sicilian widows, Venus-like beauties, tanned football players, and tough guys with slick-back hair. American couple Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler were in the opposing camp. These two fashion-loving friends first connected in a millinery store in New York, and in December 2014, they started the Instagram account Diet Prada. As of right now, it has 3.4 million followers.
Dolce & Gabbana
The designers asked the bloggers (whose business was denouncing plagiarism and cultural appropriation in the fashion industry) to appear in a Milan tribunal in 2019 due to the extreme tensions between the two groups. The 47-page complaint from Dolce & Gabbana for “serious and repeated defamatory behavior” sought damages in excess of $665 million (just under €591 million). Only once in the Financial Times article from 2021 did the designers make reference to their opponents: “[Are they] the Buddha? Jesus? Nobody has the right to judge another person without considering the repercussions of their actions.
Let’s go back to November 19, 2018, to better comprehend this conflict. Dolce & Gabbana released films on that day under the hashtag “#dgloveschina” as a kind of teaser for their upcoming fashion show, which set to take place in Shanghai two days later. The 1,500 attendees and 300 models at the event were there to help the Italian brand get into the lucrative Chinese market. But as soon as the videos were released, fury was sparked. They showed the Chinese model Zuo Ye attempting to cut and eat pizza, spaghetti, and cannoli.