As the Industry Cheers Dolce & Gabbana, Don’t Forget Their Not-So-Brief History of Racism

This story was published on August 30, 2021 and updated on September 26, 2022

Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection, designed in collaboration with Kim Kardashian, seems to have given the fashion industry collective amnesia.

The flashy event, attended by industry heavyweights including Monica Bellucci, Edward Enninful, and the Kardashian clan (Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s biggest fans, it seems), garnered a slew of celebrity style buzz, as well as some bafflingly glowing reviews.

The brand’s latest stunt — and its seeming embrace by the fashion gatekeepers of Condé Nast and Hearst — beg the question: does anyone remember Dolce & Gabbana’s pattern of racist, homophobic, misogynist, and all-together crude behavior?

We certainly do! Below, a timeline of the label’s offenses.


The brand sends white models down the runway in earrings reminiscent of colonial “Blackamoor” statues, which depict Black people as racist caricatures.


Gabbana decides to attend a “Disco Africa”-themed Halloween party. Adding insult to injury, he snaps a photo with someone (purportedly designer Alessandro Dell’Acqua) in blackface.


Both Dolce and Gabbana publicly oppose the idea of gay couples having children. “I’m not convinced with what I call chemical children, a rented uterus, semen selected from a catalogue,” Dolce tells Italian weekly Panorama.


The brand releases a $2,000 shoe called the “Slave Sandal.”


The designer duo respond to outcry over their support of Melania Trump with a rather tasteless campaign touting “#BoycottD&G” T-shirts, made with the explicit purpose of trolling the brand’s critics.


Gabbana deems it appropriate to comment “She’s so ugly!!!” on an Instagram collage of Selena Gomez’s red carpet style. He also digs at Kate Moss, leaving a succinct “no” under a photo of the supermodel in a Saint Laurent dress.

Later that year, the brand launches a racist ad campaign that depicts an Asian model attempting to eat Italian dishes with chopsticks. “Is it too big for you?” a voice-over (male, of course) condescendingly queries as the model fails to pick up a giant cannoli using chopsticks.

After an Instagram user posts about the infuriating campaign, Gabbana allegedly slides into her DMs with a message reading “China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia.”

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