Dolce & Gabbana (“D&G”) and Kim Kardashian collaborated during Milan Fashion Week last year. As Kim becomes the face of the spring-summer collection, can this cover up the brand’s problematic past? And can we move on and look forward to a fresh start with Dolce & Gabbana? In order for other companies to reflect and learn from the mistakes that they have made, I believe it is crucial to look back at Dolce & Gabbana’s past.
Dolce & Gabbana
Numerous fashion houses have been at the centre of disputes regarding their designs, iconography, and phrasing, including D&G. The business has a history of racism and homophobia. For example, they historically dubbed a $2,000 shoe the “Slave Sandal”. Secondly, they clothed catwalk models in earrings inspired by the colonial “Blackamoor” statues that illustrated black people as racist caricatures. Furthermore, Gabbana has been accused of sending a racist DM in reaction to an Instagram comment after their 2018 racist ad campaign mocked Chinese culture. Historically, blackface was seen on them at a Halloween party with a “Disco Africa” theme in 2013, in addition to the pair publicly denouncing same-sex couples having children.
D&G have never exhibited any signs of regret or remorse for their activities, despite many contentious statements and designs. They make other errors that puts their brand at risk after appearing to repair their reputation. It demonstrates that they have not learned anything. The brand typically avoids addressing these problems and acts as if they never occurred. Despite these acts, it is possible to view this as a marketing plan in and of itself. It seems odd that they would repeatedly commit the same error. For them, negative publicity is still publicity. As long as the brand is in the news, it will be top-of-mind for consumers. People find it very difficult to forgive the company for holding such divisive beliefs, though, as a result.
However, D&G are not alone in having a tumultuous connection with the general public. Over the years, the Kardashian clan have been criticised for their ties to controversial products and for promoting unrealistic beauty standards. A few examples of the disconnect with the public are detox teas, diet lollipops, and the promotional activity of their cosmetic lines. The sisters have started new enterprises, increased their riches, and maintained their status with tenacity and cunning publicity. Is that the ultimate goal for D&G?
So, by collaborating with Kim Kardashian on their newest collection, can D&G salvage their reputation? D&G made a wise choice by enlisting Kim. D&G can benefit from more views and exposure. Their popularity will increase as more people talk about their most recent collection. By using Kim Kardashian as a marketing plan, they were able to give the impression of forgotten history.
Celebrities who vowed to stop supporting the brand continue to wear its items on red carpets. As a significant multimillionaire fashion house, D&G is unfazed by the public desire to have the name discontinued. Additionally, they have the resources and influence to sponsor celebrities at high-profile red-carpet events. Similarly to Kim, these celebrities wear the company’s clothing, allowing the brand to regain the trust of its audience. For instance, D&G created Kourtney Kardashian’s wedding gown and her family’s apparel, which attracted a lot of attention and received praise for the ensemble.
I oppose cancel culture because it denies businesses and individuals the chance to develop and learn from their errors. But it is clear from D&G’s lack of regret they are unable to adapt. The fashion industry moves quickly, which affects not only the supply chain but also the issues associated with a brand’s image and philosophy. It demonstrates that the fashion industry forgets things quickly, which can be a concern because we need to hold brands responsible for their deeds. Social media has made it simpler for users to draw attention to brand concerns previously hidden under the rug. However, Dolce & Gabbana are in the business to generate money rather than to affect societal change..