Dolce & Gabbana house had filed a defamation suit in an Italian court wanting over $600 million in damages from two U.S. fashion bloggers who happened to repost anti-Asian comments connected to one of the designers that created a boycott by Asian consumers.
The lawsuit was filed in civil court back in 2019 but has recently become after the bloggers posted about it on their Instagram account, Diet Prada. They are followed widely by consumers in the fashion world thanks to their cutting commentary on unoriginality in designs and social issues.
“This whole case is a way of trying to silence Diet Prada and to silence Tony (Liu) and Lindsay (Schuyler) personally,” stated Susan Scafidi, director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School, which coordinates the bloggers’ defense.
Lawyers for Dolce & Gabbana have decided to stay silent and not comment on the case.
The case goes all the way back to November 2018, when Dolce & Gabbana were faced with a boycott in Asia after outrage erupted thanks to supposedly culturally insensitive videos that was promoting a huge runway show in Shanghai and included posts of apparently insulting comments in a private Instagram chat.
The runway show was then canceled because of the backlash, which resulted in retailers pulling Dolce & Gabbana merchandise, and Asian VIPs denying the brand.
Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana stated that Gabbana’s account was hacked. The two then showed their faces in a video apologising to the Chinese people.
“A public apology and a quiet lawsuit really cancel each other out in my mind,” Susan Scafidi continued.
Italian defence attorneys recently filed a brief in civil court, believing Italy isn’t the right place for the case to occur, especially since the blog is produced in the US and the alleged damages happened in Asia.
“The fashion house seeks damages totalling more than half a billion Euros,” Susan Scafidi stated.
“The fashion house seeks 450 Million Euros spent to restore brand image since 2018 and damages of 3 Million Euros for the company and 1 Million for Gabbana, to whom the remarks were attributed. The suit seeks more than 8.6 Million Euros for the cancellation of the Shanghai show, another 8.6 Million Euros for staff expenditures and 89.6 Million Euros for lost Asian sales from November 2018-March 2019.”
Diet Prada, which has over 2.5 million Instagram followers, has since managed to raise over $38,000 for its defence.
In a recent statement, Liu and Schuyler noted that they “would not allow their platform, which has also been vocal about the #MeToo movement, Black Lives Matter and attacks on Asians in the USA, to be silenced by lawsuits.”
“Diet Prada will continue to be a platform to elevate these crucial issues,” Liu continued.
Schuyler believes “public figures and brands should respond to public opinion and media critiques with progressive action, not lawsuits.”
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Written by Ashley Riordan