by B. Wiser- Contributor
Dolce e Gabbana have really done it this time. Not only have they very stupidly and hubristically shot themselves in the foot and bit the hand that fed them, they’ve pretty much, in their usual obnoxious, unfiltered way, offered themselves up for a virtual slaughter of truly epic proportions.
They may as well have flagellated themselves with the chopsticks they so gleefully parodied in the commercial produced for their Shanghai show.
The moral of the story: Don’t fuck with the Chinese.
So with hours to spare before a historic multimillion dollar fashion show in Shanghai last week, this viral shitstorm blew up, with Chinese people all over the world pissed off as hell, and rightly so, at the Italian designing duo, but particularly at Stefano Gabbana, the more outspoken of the two, who has in the past attacked gay parents and fat people, to name a few, and who insulted Chinese people in the comments of his IG account, festooning his insults with poop emojis. It seems, however, that the only one suffering from diarrhea was Stefano himself – of the mouth.
Did he really think he was going to get away with it? China has been a force to reckon with on almost all levels for many years now: retail, manufacturing, the military, finance, infrastructure, soft diplomacy. Heck, they’ve even usurped territory belonging to other nations and they don’t care. So mobilizing an army of social media warriors, not to mention celebrities and models, to bring an Italian luxury fashion house down, forcing it, tail between its over-layered, over-printed and over-accessorized legs, to cancel its show, was rather simple and quick to achieve.
Probably realizing his folly, Stefano remained defiant, insisting that someone had hacked the company’s IG account, as well as his own.
Si, si certo.
Ma che cazzo!
Then, of course, he became apologetic, and dragged Domenico Dolce into filming a personal contrite dui bu qi to all the Chinese they offended. After all, their Shanghai boutique was closed, Lane Crawford in Hong Kong had dropped them, as well as all their Chinese retailers online – JD.com, Tmall, Secoo, and the Chinese arm of the Yoox-Net-a-Porter Group pulled out the line.
It’s probably too late; Dolce e Gabbana is toast. But it remains an object lesson in how to commit brand suicide in three easy steps: 1) insult the market that is responsible for most of your turnover the quickest way possible, using social media; 2) turn yourself into the victim but claiming you’ve been hacked; and 3) issue an apology that is premised on “if anyone was offended” instead of firmly and unequivocally accepting full responsibility for the truly egregious offence.
Dolce e Gabbana seem to have forgotten that if not for the Chinese, Italy would never have invented pasta.