Dolce & Gabbana files £434m lawsuit after bloggers expose racist messages

Dolce and Gabbana defamation lawsuit Diet Prada
Stefano Gabbana (left) and Domenico Dolce (right) file £434m lawsuit against two US fashion bloggers
// Dolce & Gabbana files £434m defamation lawsuit against US fashion blog Diet Prada
// Bloggers Tony Liu and Lindsay Schulyer posted screenshots of anti-Asian comments made by designer Stefano Gabbana
// Dolce & Gabbana said the post led to a boycott of the company by Asian consumers

Dolce & Gabbana has filed a defamation lawsuit seeking more than $600 million (£434 million) in damages from two US fashion bloggers who reposted racist comments from one of the company’s designers.

The luxury Italian retailer said it has lost out on revenues after bloggers Tony Liu and Lindsay Schulyer from Diet Prada posted screenshots of racist anti-Asian comments made by designer Stefano Gabbana.

Dolce & Gabbana said the post has since led to a boycott of the company by Asian consumers.

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Diet Prada said the messages were sent by Gabbana in 2018 who had made racist comments about China.

The lawsuit was filed in a Milan civil court in 2019 but became public this week after Liu and Schulyer posted about it on Instagram.

Fordham Law School, which is co-ordinating the bloggers’ defence, said the case is “a way of trying to silence Diet Prada”.

Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana initially said Gabbana’s account had been hacked, before appearing in a video apologising to the Chinese people.

Dolce & Gabbana is seeking €450 million (£387 million) spent on restoring the brand image since 2018 and damages of €3 million (£2.6 million) for the company, as well as €1 million (£861,000) for Gabbana.

It also seeks more than €8.6 million (£7.4 million) for the cancellation of the Shanghai show, another €8.6 million for staff expenditures and €89.6 million (£77.1 million) for lost Asian sales between November 2018 and March 2019.

Meanwhile, Diet Prada, which has a following of over 2.5 million Instagram followers, has raised over $38,000 (£27,400) for its defence.

Dolce & Gabbana was notoriously embroiled in controversy earlier in 2018 by releasing a series of videos ahead of a Shanghai runway show featuring a Chinese model attempting to eat Italian foods with chopsticks.

The videos were taken down after the company received widespread criticism.

The retailer is one of many luxury brands to have been embroiled in controversy in recent years. Most recently, Louis Vuitton was criticised for producing a ‘Jamaican’ jumper that featured the wrong flag colours.

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