A few days ago we witnessed the birth of a new very unexpected collaboration - this of Dolce & Gabbana and Kim Kardashian. A collaboration no one in the world ever thought we needed to see or wish existed, yet now it does and I just had to sit down and write about it the moment I was done torturing myself watching the catwalk. I would like to say I was shocked to see Kim work with the designers considering their misogynistic, racist and homophobic patterns (I mean she is a lawyer), but without Kanye to guide her in the right direction when it comes to fashion, I guess this is only the beginning. In today’s article unlike any other before I just quickly wanted to remind everyone of all the times D&G did wrong. Strap yourself in and get ready for this emotional rollercoaster featuring defamation suits, tax evasion, racism, misogyny, internalised homophobia and online bullying.
It is insane seeing major fashion outlets minutes after the show titled 'Ciao Kim' publishing articles describing the show as ‘’epic’’, ‘’spectacular’’, ‘’the next level’’ to just quote a few from Elle and Vogue. We are all in when it comes to brands learning and improving but the below will prove quite the opposite for the brand as it completely missed the marks for about 15 hours and cancel culture clearly did not do its job the right way as we are still here talking about it.
It is an Italian luxury fashion brand established in 1985, with a first official runway show titled Real Women - if this is not a sign of a disastrous future that would follow about 25 years later, I don’t know. Although having said that since it happened back in the 80s trans rights weren’t really a thing so most likely this was not a reference to a secret allyship with J. K. Rowling, but simple ignorance. According to Wikipedia, the brand didn’t see much success until the early nineties with their 1940s inspired campaign and later in 1996 winning an award for best men’s fragrance.
In the early 2000s the brand had climbed to fame with a turnover of more than 500 million euro, working with celebrities like Madonna, Missy Elliott, Beyoncé, and Mary J. Blige. The brand pretty much shaped the decade and this is the first time we started witnessing some of the red flags.
In 2007 they launched a campaign which showed a woman being pinned down by the wrist by a man, Italian unions unionised and called for a boycott, and Amnesty international asked for the campaign to be withdrawn saying it risked “excusing violence against women”. Both Spain and Italy banned the ad before it even aired.
In 2010 the D&G were indicted for alleged tax fraud and convicted by two separate Italian courts. And after being sentenced to 20 months in prison, they appealed and as it usually happens with overly rich people - all charges were overturned by the Italian high court.
In 2012 they presented their Blackamoor earrings inspired by… colonialism. As the Guardian beautifully put it “There’s nothing cute about two white men selling minstrel earrings to a majority non-black audience. There wasn’t a single black model in Dolce & Gabbana’s show, and it’s hard not to be appalled by the transparent exoticism in sending the only black faces down the runway in the form of earrings.”
In 2015 they made comments about gay parenting (“The only family is the traditional one”) and IVF (“children of chemistry”) which received massive backlash fuelled additionally by personalities such as Elton John voicing their opinion on the matter.
In 2016 their website revealed an exclusive pair of sandals titled ‘’slave sandals’’, their name was swiftly changed and business continued as usual.
In 2017 when Melania became first lady and all American designers refused to dress her, D&G stepped in. When literal protests were being carried out across the US, the designers put the slogan on a t-shirt and sold it mocking free speech. Later called out by a rapper called Raury as he walked their catwalk. He only found out about the entire boycott the night before the show but still managed to come up with his own plan to show support. (Hence why it is important to keep celebrities and media accountable).
In 2017 they thought it was cute to promote body dysmorphia by releasing sneakers that read ‘’I’m thin & gorgeous’’. The response the designers gave was less than satisfactory with “Darling you prefer to be fat and full of cholesterol ??? I think u have a problem.”
In 2018 they had one of their biggest years to date when they somehow managed to offend an entire nation. Many of you might have come across this one featuring a Chinese model attempting to eat Italian cuisine with chopsticks, while a male narrator asks “is it too huge for you?”. Stefano Gabbana, the blessed outspoken soul he is, allegedly made multiple racist and extremely offensive remarks about Asian people in DM’s that were shared across multiple screenshots on social media and by the popular social media account Diet Prada. Instead of apologising (which would have probably achieved nothing considering the level at which he played it) he just said that someone hacked his account.
In 2018 Stefano told Reuters that “I don't want a Japanese designer to design for Dolce & Gabbana" regarding succession plans which promptly raised accusations of alleged racism, very surprising.
In 2018 the designer duo felt appropriate to file a defamation suit against Diet Prada seeking approximately $800 million for loss of business which clearly the designers are too blind to see is caused by their own doing or lack of so.
In 2018 he made sure that everyone knew he was not a Selenator by commenting under a Selena Gomez’s photo calling her ‘’ugly’’.
The same year he also wrote under a Kate Moss’s photo just to say ‘’No’’
And to end it on a high and make everyone think for a second, they literally called the Kardashians “most cheap people in the world,” to now literally try and cash grab from their millions of fans.
With all the above, a few questions come to mind: Why is Kim Kardashian collaborating with them now, or how much is she getting paid to do it? Why are major media outlets not limiting the exposure of this brand to their audiences? And why are consumers still buying into a racist, homophobic, misoginistic brand?
It is important to note that after a push from their audience both Antoni Porowski and Tan France dissociated themselves from the brand. So if you were one of those sat at home thinking there was not much you could do, you are wrong, not only does your wallet speak but so does your social media presence. Look out for the celebrities you support, always keep them accountable. Go ask Kim what’s good and let us know what you think below.