Dolce & Gabbana Co-Founders Plead for ‘Forgiveness’ After Sparking Boycotts in China

The co-founders of Dolce & Gabbana on Friday issued a video appeal seeking “forgiveness” from Chinese consumers after an ad campaign seen as racist prompted Chinese retail sites to pull the luxury brand’s products. Domenico Dolce and Steffano Gabbana appeared in a 1 and a half minute clip released on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, to express their “love” for Chinese culture as a growing backlash against the brand threatens to edge them out of one of the world’s biggest luxury markets. “We have always been in love with China,” Dolce said in the video. “We love your culture and we certainly have much to learn. That is why we are sorry if we made mistakes in the way we expressed ourselves.” The Italian brand had apologized earlier this week for an ad campaign that featured a Chinese model struggling to eat pasta and other Italian foods with chopsticks, a promo that sparked outrage in China and prompted local celebrities to call for a Dolce & Gabbana boycott. The scandal only grew later when private Instagram messages said to be sent from Gabana were leaked. The messages, which Dolce & Gabbana blamed on hackers, were full of comments mocking Chinese culture. The Italian fashion house also canceled its fashion show in Shanghai earlier this week amid the growing uproar.