Throughout its 37-year history, Dolce & Gabbana has never been know for much subtlety or minimalism. The Italian brand is often unapologetically maximalist, and it should come as no surprise that the brand’s reaction to minor controversy is unapologetically maximalist as well.
First Lady Melania Trump has always been a fan of the brand, and seems to favor it even more now that she’s become First Lady. She wore numerous D&G get-ups throughout her husband’s first overseas tour as president, including a pricey floral jacket.
Stefano Gabbana, one half of the brand’s creative braintrust, loves Trump right back. Anytime Trump is spotted in a Dolce number he posts pictures of it on his Instagram, usually with a “thank you,” some heart emojis, and the hashtag #DGWoman. Of course, given how controversial anything Trump-related is at the moment, Gabbana has taken online criticism for posting the images (as seems to be par for the course for anyone who post anything vaguely political online these days). Though there didn’t appear to be much of a serious organized effort to boycott the brand, at least some users left the hashtag #BoycottDolceGabbana on his Instagram posts. Enough for Gabbana to notice it.
“Haters!!!! Remember #boycottdolcegabbana please,” he wrote under one image of Mrs. Trump last month.
Now the brand is set to release t-shirts making light of the hashtag. There is even a full-fledged social media campaign around the tee that makes use of protest imagery. Except this time no one is there to ease tensions with a soft drink.
It’s a different take on the last time the brand’s more vocal creative partner courted controversy. In a 2015 interview, Gabbana stated that he and Domenico Dolce both opposed adoption by same-sex couple as well as pregnancies conceived with IVF. The backlash was much more intense than Gabbana’s stylistic approval of Melania Trump, and Dolce ended up walking back the comments, stating, “We love gay couples. We love gay adoption. We love everything.” They then released a line of handbags that featured cartoons of gay couples with children.
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