Italian luxury fashion house Dolce & Gabbana was forced to call off their fashion show in Shanghai on Wednesday 21st November hours before it was due to start, as celebrities said they would not attend and models reportedly pulled out, according to AP.
Chinese celebrities reacted angrily after screenshots of insulting remarks about China were posted on D&G's account on Instagram. The Italian fashion house apologised for such remarks and claimed its accounts had been hacked.
"We are very sorry for any distress caused by these unauthorised posts," D&G said on Instagram. "We have nothing but respect for China and the people of China."
The screenshots appear to show co-founder Stefano Gabbana referring to China with crude terms and emoji as he defends promotional videos that had sparked controversy earlier.
Stefano Gabbana also wrote on his Instagram that his account had been hacked, adding "I love China and Chinese culture. I'm sorry for what happened."
The three promotional videos, which have been deleted from the company's Weibo account, feature a Chinese model struggling to eat pizza and Italian food with a pair of chopsticks. Many Chinese social media users called the videos racist and full of outdated stereotypes.
Designers Gabbana and Domenico Dolce said about the cancellation of the Shanghai extravaganza, "What happened today was very unfortunate not only for us but also for all the people who worked day and night to bring this event to life."
Dolce had told AP in an email interview before the controversy erupted that the designers had planned "homage to China, to celebrate the country, and at the same time, to tell our story and love for fashion."