Stefano Gabbana's recent controversial comments about China drew a response from Beijing officials. Geng Shuang, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said on Thursday that he hoped the scandal would not morph into a 'diplomatic' one.
His comments came after Chinese online shopping platform Yangmatou had removed 58,000 Dolce & Gabbana items from its site, saying that ‘the motherland is more important than anything else', as cited by Bloomberg.
Moreover, it emerged that a search on Chinese e-commerce portals Kaola, Taobao, JD and Alibaba's Tmall had been producing no results for D&G goods.
The Italian brand was forced to postpone a major catwalk show in Shanghai scheduled for 21 November following public backlash triggered by leaked comments from designer Stefano Gabbana, who described China as a 'country of sh*t' and 'ignorant dirty smelling mafia'.
Gabbana's remarks apparently came in response to complaints about D&G's promotional clips featuring an Asian model using chopsticks to eat Italian dishes like pizza, spaghetti, and pastry.
After the clips and comments went viral, several Chinese A-listers, including Chen Kun, Zhang Ziyi and Li Bingbing, refused to take part in the multimillion-dollar Shanghai show. D&G's Asia-Pacific brand ambassadors, singer Karry Wang and actress Dilraba Dilmurat, announced the termination of their contracts with the brand.
Both D&G and Stefano Gabbana issued apologies for the remarks, claiming that their Instagram accounts were hacked and that an investigation into the matter was underway.
"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. From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to express our gratitude to our friends and guests."