Dolce & Gabbana has apologised for posts on its Instagram account written in response to its latest ad campaign.
The Italian fashion house said its and co-founder Stefano Gabbana’s accounts were hacked and used to criticise Chinese people.
“We have nothing but respect for China and the people of China,” the apology message read.
The brand is already in hot water over its #DGLovesChina campaign, which has been accused of racism.
Gabbana also apologised, posting a screenshot on Instagram of offensive messages he claims were sent by a hacker abusing his account.
D&G posted three videos this week of a Chinese model eating Italian foods like pizza and pasta with chopsticks.
These videos are available to view on Instagram but were taken down from Chinese social media network Weibo less than 24 hours after they were posted.
According to digital publication Jing Daily, which covers luxury consumer trends in China, the videos made “big mistakes in tone and taste”.
It said the campaign had been criticised for “trivialising China’s centuries-old culture and depicting Chinese women in a stereotypical and even racist way” by users on social media.
The use of split-up chopsticks was also criticised for being improper and disrespectful.
D&G is yet to apologise for the campaign, which was to have been accompanied by a catwalk show in Shanghai on Wednesday that has now been cancelled.
“Boycott Dolce” has also been discussed on Weibo more than 18,000 times, according to Jing Daily.
The website Business of Fashion said the decision to cancel the show had been taken by Chinese authorities.
A number of high-profile Chinese celebrities had announced they would not attend.
“I love my mother country,” actress Li Bingbing told her 42 million fans.
“Our mother country is more important than anything,” said the management of Wang Junkai, a singer in boy band TFBoys, who also withdrew.
Actor Talu Wang wrote on Weibo: “Respect is more important than anything.”
This isn’t the first time the high-end brand has been accused of racism towards China.
Last April they posted a campaign on Weibo that showed impoverished people in run-down areas of Beijing pictured with D&G models ahead of a catwalk show in the city.
The pictures were criticised for stereotyping Chinese history by showing old parts of the city, rather than more modern depictions of Beijing.
D&G also caused controversy in 2016 when it called an item of footwear in its spring/summer collection a “slave sandal“.
Source BBC News