As mentioned in the previous Bennifer post, JLo wasn’t the only celebrity in Venice this weekend for the Dolce & Gabbana show. A gallery of the high-profile guest list is attached including Anna Wintour, Helen Mirren, Vin Diesel, Zoe Saldana, Bebe Rexha, and more. So the comeback of the brand is, apparently, complete.
And it’s been happening for a while now. For a refresher on the last few years of D&G’s f-ckups, check out this article at Business of Fashion from February 2020, when the fashion house was already well on its way to reclaiming its position on the red carpet. The low point, of course, was in 2018 when Diet Prada called out D&G on Instagram for an offensive ad campaign ahead of its presentation in Shanghai. The video involved a Chinese woman trying to eat a cannoli with chopsticks, like there are no knives and forks in China or something. What was possibly more damaging, however, were the screenshots of DMs that seemed to be from Stefano Gabbana making anti-Asian racist comments.
Soon after, the show was cancelled, and stylists stopped dressing their clients in D&G. The brand then spent the next year in image rehab, becoming more philanthropically engaged in a variety of causes, including funding COVID research, 2SLGBTQ+ outreach and supporting Black Lives Matter. They also became more size inclusive and made a push to amplify the work of artisans who are the backbone of the high fashion industry. And they hired someone with decades of experience at Versace and Armani who has solid connections with celebrities and their stylists.
Which brings us to now, and the star-studded guest list in Venice, D&G has apparently come full circle. For many celebrities and their teams, they’re obviously crediting D&G for responding to the criticism and putting some purpose behind their work. But how much do they mean it?
There are rumours that D&G pays celebrities to wear their clothes at events and then there’s the lawsuit. In March of this year it was revealed that D&G is suing Diet Prada for defamation. Per The Cut, “the non-profit Fashion Law Institute at Fordham is representing [Diet Prada]” and you can read more from their founders at The Cut about what they’ve been through as they battle a fashion house with deep pockets.
So it’s one thing for D&G to want to be part of the change – but it’s another look altogether when they’re trying to take down culture critics who called out their bullsh-t and for defamation no less. Diet Prada pointed out that the promotional video that was intended to appeal to the Chinese market actually leaned into to insulting stereotypes. If D&G is now suing Diet Prada over this for defamation, do they really understand that what they were trying to perpetuate was harmful? Are they committed to change?