Dolce & Gabbana has infuriated Chinese netizens after it highlighted an underdeveloped Beijing in a recent photoshoot.
The images, shot by the Morelli Brothers, were part of the Italian label’s “DG Loves China” campaign.
Unfortunately, the set taken in Tiananmen Square and around Beijing’s hutongs –– narrow alleys — did not please local social media users.
According to Shanghaiist, the photos drew flak for being oblivious to modern China’s progress and choosing to showcase its “backwardness.”
Netizens were particularly unhappy as D&G placed its high-fashion models next to ordinary citizens who were just trying to go about their lives.
Zeng Yuan, a fashion designer in Nanjing, told People’s Daily:
“The pictures are so absurd. From the perspective of Dolce & Gabbana, China is filled with bikes, old ladies in rags and rude tourists. Thanks to China’s fast development, the country now has so many modern things to offer the world, but the Chinese people and buildings in the photos all look quite 1990s.”
Many commenters echoed Zeng’s opinion and pointed the photo set’s stark contrast with “DG Loves Japan,” an earlier campaign, which highlighted Tokyo’s bustling urban streets and nightlife.
One Weibo user commented:
“I saw Dolce & Gabbana’s Japan-themed promo photos, which included ordinary Japanese people, all young and wearing modern clothing. I guess in the eyes of the photographers, Japan represents taste and wealth, while China represents vulgarity and poverty.”
While many are furious, some accepted the company’s take, arguing that it’s only realistic and that the only shameful thing are overreacting netizens. Another user wrote:
“I see no reason to raise the discrimination flag in this case. Maybe for the company, the beauty of China lies in the most primitive scenes and the most ordinary people; we should respect this opinion. Chinese people should build up more cultural self-confidence.”
The images have since been pulled from D&G’s Weibo profile without any explanation.
What do you think of Dolce & Gabbana’s portrayal of China?