The controversial posts appeared on Stefano Gabbana’s account following backlash to a series of videos the brand released. Titled “eating with chopsticks,” the videos featured a model being instructed in Mandarin by a male voice how to eat Italian food, including pizza and spaghetti. Critics said the videos trivialized “China’s centuries-old culture… depicting Chinese women in a stereotypical and even racist way” (via BBC and Jing Daily).
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Gabbana appeared to criticize China in a series of posts and messages, in an attempt to defend the “eating with chopsticks,” and lament the fact that it had been deleted from Chinese social network Weibo. Diet Prada posted a screenshot of the Instagram exchange between Gabbana and Michaela Phuong Thanh Tranova:
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As @dolcegabbana prepares to mount their next runway show in Shanghai this coming evening (7:30PM) and the rest of Instagram fawns over what’s sure to be an overly lavish “love letter” to China, we’ll be wondering if we’ll see chopsticks as hair ornaments, take-out boxes as purses, or even kimonos misappropriated as Chinese costume. Time will tell. For now, we’ll let y’all simmer on this DM between Stefano and Dieter @michaelatranova (chronology is reversed in slides). Word has it that they’re still in the process of model casting (over 200 Asian girls scheduled)…wouldn’t let them walk the show if we were their agents lol. Also, curious what the Chinese government will think of their country being called shit basically…especially considering how strict they are on who to allow to enter the country on work visas based on a thorough social media background checks. • #DGTheGreatShow #DGlovesChina #runway #fashionshow #cancelled #racism #dolceandgabbana #altamoda #rtw #dgmillennials #stefanogabbana #shanghai #chinese #china #wtf #dumb #lame #asianmodel #asian #dietprada
According to WWD, actress Zhang Ziyi was one of the first stars to say that she would no longer be attending, while the China Bentley modeling agency revealed that the 24 models they represent who were meant to be walking in the show would now be boycotting.
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Apologizing for the posts, Gabbana wrote on his personal account, “My Instagram account has been hacked. My legal office is working on this. I love China and the Chinese culture. I’m so sorry for what happened.” The brand’s official page also shared two apologies regarding the incident: