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The fiasco Dolce & Gabbana shows the importance, the market risk of China – 11/26/2015 5:55:40 AM


BEIJING (AP) – M & # 39; have to get with China and its growing kadre of & # 39; & # 39 by consumers; health of & # 39; luxury.

Dolce & Gabbana learned that lesson in the most hard way when faced boycott after the Chinese expressed outrage at those seen as culturally insensitive videos to promote exhibition & # 39; major runway at & # 39; Shanghai and subsequent the places of & # 39; insultanti comments at & # 39; private chat.

The company blamed hackers for anti-Chinese insults, but the explanation was clear to many and the damage. The Milan designers have canceled the show runway & # 39; Shanghai, intended as a tribute to China, because their guests list & # 39; Asian celebrities quickly joined the protests.

Then, since the retailers sold their products from the shelves and websites with & # 39; health canceling their articles, the co-founders Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana went on camera – annoyed against the larger background of & # 39; .

"We will never forget this experience, and certainly will never again & # 39; to happen," said Gabbana to appear solemn f & # 39; video statement which was aired on Friday on social media.

The video of & # 39; apology, and strong public defect asked, showing the importance of the Chinese market and the risks which it operates. B & # 39; & # 39 as broader ;, highlight the huge and growing influence of China, a country that can not be ignored because they are expanding economic, military and diplomatically.

These trends are linked to & # 39; frequent disruption of & # 39; nationalist sentiment among consumers who feel ignored by foreign brands or their governments. It is not the first time that a company forgiven, and surely will not be the last. Mercedes-Benz did so in February to show a quote from the Dalai Lama's account & # 39; Instagram.

For Dolce & Gabbana, can & # 39; is the end of its growth in China, a key market for brands & # 39; Global luxury grown since its first store opened in 2005 and which now has 44 boutique.

"I think it will be impossible during the coming years to work in China," said Cary Cooper, organizational psychology and health professor at the University & # 39; Manchester in England. "When breaking this kind of & # 39; cultural codes, then you are looking for trouble. The brand is now damaged in China, and I think it will be damaged in China unless lost memory about it. "

The advisory & # 39; consultancy & # 39; Brand Finance based in & # 39; London estimates that the scandal can & # 39; jxejja & # 39; over 20 per cent of the value of the Dolce & Gabbana brand of & # 39; $ 937 million, already tqiegħedha of the top 50 global clothing brand. They are 36 among all Italian brands, which extend to sectors such as automobiles.

That can & # 39; shaking the financial strength of & # 39; Dolce & Gabbana. The privately held company does not issue figures of its individual sales. But Chinese consumers are responsible for a third of & # 39; all spending & # 39; Luxury around the world, according to a recent study & # 39; consultancy Bain. This will grow to 46 percent of projected sales of & # 39; estimate & # 39; 365 billion ($ 412 billion) by 2025, operated by millennial generation and the younger set Z, which will make an increasing percentage of their online purchases.

"From China, internal growth, D & G will obviously be in & # 39; weak competitive position and in danger of being eliminated," said the Chinese trading company New Fortune in & # 39; social one ad . "This is one of the main reasons why D & G finally lowered his head. They really can not live without the Chinese market."

While Dolce & Gabbana showed a knack for social media engagement, invited influencers with millennial & # 39; & # 39 million; Collective followers to sit in rows of & # 39; their front or run their performances, that engagement was with sword & # 39; both parties. The Pop idol Karry Wang, which drew hundreds of & # 39; Chinese fans to shoot the showroom & # 39; Milan designer for exhibitions & # 39; seasonal runway, was one of the first to deprive the brand, said it was ending its role as Asia Pacific brand ambassador.

Dolce found himself on the defensive several years ago after Elton John closed for comments suggesting that he did not support gay couples use surrogate mothers to have children. At that time, more than 67,000 tweets encouraged #boycottdolcegabbana, while Courtney Love premised reaping its Dolce & Gabbana clothing and Martina Navratilova promised to prevent the D & G shirts.

Gabbana, who has 1.6 million followers & # 39; Instagram, faced more backlash there was earlier this year when answered collage & # 39; photos & # 39; Selena Gomez on Instagram with a comment, "She's really ugly."

Celebrities took to social media Wednesday to blow Dolce & Gabbana and said he would boycott the show, which was canceled. Until Thursday, the company's products have disappeared from the leading e-commerce websites. The prevalent feeling was caught by free shop from the airport duty posted his photo depleted shelves D & G products: "We show our position. We are proud to be Chinese."

The rapid scale in & # 39; a disaster & # 39; public relations has been driven by social media. The individuals questioned videos themselves cutting or burning the clothes Dolce & Gabbana them, or irkuprawhom clearly chopsticks and put them in the trash. Parody videos of Dolce & Gabbana offered, offered Chinese woman using a & # 39; chopsticks to eat pizza and cannoli of & # 39; Oversized, shows a white man trying to eat Chinese food with a fork and knife. At least three bands & # 39; rap took the case b & # 39; new songs.

"Companies that do not jirrispettawna not worthy of our respect", Wang Zixin, team leader & # 39; CD Rev, band rapista nationalist, said by telephone from Chengdu, the capital of the province & # 39; Sichuan. The song has been viewed more than its new 850,000 times on Weibo.

"We hope that people will remember companies have insultaw China, and do not forget them when passing the floods", said Wang.

That sense of & # 39; pride reflects nationality was encouraged by the government, often in & # 39; disputes China has with & # 39; Other countries other foreign goods.

Sales of Japanese automakers launched in 2012 between tensions between the islands both countries claim in the East China Sea. The conflict also revealed the complexity of the Chinese sentiment: The industry analysts said that buyers unwilling to appear in the Japanese car showrooms but went ahead with the planned purchase once tensions have passed.

More recently, several foreign companies have moved with insistence & # 39; Beijing explicitly referring to Taiwan, an autonomous territory, as part of China. Most complied, showing how important the Chinese market has become.

The Delta airlines, American and others agreed to refer to Taiwan as part of China, and Zara now says "Taiwan, China" on its website after regulators criticized the fashion brand to call to Taiwan f & # 39; country. Marriott announced that "respects and supports" sovereignty of China after it was ordered to close its website China for a week.

The actor Richard Gere, a supporter of the Dalai Lama, told The Hollywood Reporter that the film studios with jikkuntattjawhx fear & # 39; of & # 39; revolution or public official that you & # 39; affecting ticket sales in China.

It is not clear if the video D & G mea culpa will stop the reaction – or if it has implications for Made-in-Italy in general. The scandal opened as companies & # 39; furniture and design & # 39; high & # 39; Italy made an annual presentation in & # 39; Shanghai and by Miu Miu, little breast line of the Prada Group, showed the cruise line in & # 39; Shanghai.

Italian Designers s & # 39; now comment. Dolce & Gabbana stayed away out of the Italian Chamber of Fashion, which organizes fashion week and act as a lobby for the fashion industry.

The expert & # 39; & # 39 luxury; Brand Finance, Alex Haigh, said the scale of the Chinese reaction was & # 39; risk & # 39; contagion in other markets, but the brand could get before the scandal if it makes a sincere change. "They made a big storm for themselves," he said. "They should wait a few months, and potentially do something like Volkswagen, when she scandal emissions and again substituted itself as a brand of the first electric vehicle that respects the environment. Sometimes these issues can be a focal point for change. "

The Italian enthusiasts said if the protests Dolce & Gabbana were really spontaneous or whether some level & # 39; control of the government behind them. The government has said publicly that the sardines had no diplomatic element and did not comment.

"Everywhere in the world, an entrepreneur can & # 39; make a mistake, use inappropriate language. Normally, consumers and the market to decide on the seriousness of the offense," said the Milan Corriere della Sera f & # 39 ; komentarju. "China alone is one forced to produce video humiliating b & # 39; public self-criticism criticism, as in the time of revolution & # 39; Mao. Now China feel b & # 39; robust and applying re-education on a global scale. "


Barry reported from Milan. The AP reporters Joe McDonald and Kang Dake and researchers Henry Hou Jiawei Chen contributed to this report.

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