Milan fashion houses are finding that their dramatic styles and remarkable statements are looking threadbare. A recent Gucci advertisement for a blackface tunic is only the latest entry in the insensitivity sweepstakes that designers are increasingly winning.
The result is boycotts and an assault on their bottom-lines as they try to navigate the world of fashion-forward styles in a rapidly evolving and immediately reacting globalized marketplace.
At home and abroad, fashion forward can be backward policy.
Gucci’s racial gaff was not an isolated incident for first-tier fashionistas. Dolce & Gabbana made itself toxic in China when it produced an Italian voiced-over advertisement with a good-looking, ditzy Chinese model incapable of eating pizza with chopsticks. The offense continued with an Instagram anti-China rant that resulted in a widespread D&G boycott in China. READ MORE