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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Dolce & Gabbana say sorry to China after race row as clothes are removed from sale

The founders of Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana apologised to Chinese customers on Friday as a row over racially offensive advertising led to its products being removed from lucrative e-commerce platforms.

In an attempt to salvage their reputation in a crucial luxury market, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana capped a 90-second mea culpa by saying "sorry" in Mandarin in a video posted on a Chinese social media platform.

“Our families always taught us to respect different cultures across the world and because of this we want to ask for your forgiveness if we have made mistakes in interpreting yours,” said Dolce in Italian.

“We want to say sorry to all Chinese across the world and we are taking this apology and message very seriously,” Gabbana added.

It was posted on the brand's official Weibo account, the popular Chinese Twitter-like social media platform, where they have close to a million followers.

The company had already issued a written apology on Weibo earlier this week after the scandal prompted Dolce & Gabbana to cancel a fashion show in Shanghai.

The controversy arose this week after Dolce & Gabbana posted short clips on Instagram showing a woman eating pizza, spaghetti and a cannoli with chopsticks that some deemed culturally insensitive.

Following the controversy, Italian fashion house's products disappeared from multiple Chinese e-commerce platforms. Reuters
Following the controversy, Italian fashion house's products disappeared from multiple Chinese e-commerce platforms. Reuters

But it escalated after screenshots circulated of an Instagram user's alleged chat with the famously volatile Mr Gabbana, who used five offensive emojis to describe China and launched insults at the country and its people.

The company said its account and that of Mr Gabbana had been hacked, and that its legal office was investigating the matter.

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Read more:

Dolce and Gabbana cancels China show amid allegations of racism

Globalisation is never an invitation to mock other cultures

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Despite the earlier apology, the Italian fashion house's products disappeared from multiple Chinese e-commerce platforms.

A spokeswoman for retail giant Suning.com said they have removed all Dolce & Gabbana products after the incident.

The brands also could not be searched on retail giants Taobao and JD.com. The two companies did not respond to requests for comment.

Chinese netizens were unconvinced by the latest apology, with the video garnering over 100,000 comments some three hours after it was posted.

"They're bowing their precious heads to the renminbi [yuan] then," one Weibo user commented on the apology post.