The Milan fashion house Dolce & Gabbana filed a multi-million-dollar defamation suit in an Italian court against U.S. fashion bloggers who reposted anti-Asian comments attributed to one of the designers that led to a boycott by Asian consumers (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

The Milan fashion house Dolce & Gabbana filed a multi-million-dollar defamation suit in an Italian court against U.S. fashion bloggers who reposted anti-Asian comments attributed to one of the designers that led to a boycott by Asian consumers (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

Dolce & Gabbana seeking over $600M in damages from 2 U.S. bloggers

The bloggers reposted anti-Asian comments attributed to one of its designers, leading to a boycott

The Milan fashion house Dolce & Gabbana has filed a defamation suit in an Italian court seeking over $600 million in damages from two U.S. fashion bloggers who reposted anti-Asian comments attributed to one of the designers that led to a boycott by Asian consumers.

The suit was filed in Milan civil court in 2019 but only became public this week when the bloggers posted about it on their Instagram account, Diet Prada. Their feed is widely followed in the fashion world for its cutting commentary on unoriginality in designs and on social issues.

“This whole case is a way of trying to silence Diet Prada, and to silence Tony (Liu) and Lindsay (Schuyler) personally,’’ said Susan Scafidi, director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School, which is co-ordinating the bloggers’ defence.

Lawyers for Dolce & Gabbana reached by the AP declined to comment on the case.

The case dates back to November 2018, when Dolce & Gabbana faced a boycott in Asia after outrage over what were seen as culturally insensitive videos promoting a major runway show in Shanghai and subsequent posts of insulting comments in a private Instagram chat.

The show was cancelled in the backlash, which included retailers pulling Dolce&Gabbana merchandise and Asian VIPs disavowing the brand.

Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana initially said that Gabbana’s account had been hacked. The two later appeared in a video apologizing to the Chinese people.

“A public apology and a quiet lawsuit really cancel each other out in my mind,’’ Safidi told The Associated Press on Saturday.

Italian defence attorneys filed a brief this week in Milan civil court, arguing that Italy is not the correct venue for the case, given that the blog is produced in the United States and the alleged damages occurred in Asia.

The fashion house is seeking damages totalling more than half a billion euros, Scafidi said.

She said the fashion house is seeking 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 also 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.

Since going public, Diet Prada, which has over 2.5 million Instagram followers, has raised more than $38,000 for its defence.

In a statement, Liu and Schuyler both said they would not allow their platform, which has also been vocal about the #MeToo movement, Black Lives Matter and recent attacks on Asians in the United States, to be silenced by lawsuits.

“Diet Prada will continue to be a platform to elevate these crucial issues,” Liu said.

Schuyler called on “public figures and brands to respond to public opinion and media critiques with progressive action, not lawsuits.”

Fashion

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The city has decided to apply to have the Jordan River area withdrawn from Crown Land disposition, which would put the decision on how the land is used and protected in the hands of the city. (File photo)
City of Revelstoke applying to withdraw Jordan River from Crown Land

At the moment the province has control over what is developed in the area

(Natalia Cuevas-Huaico - Kelowna Capital News)
Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

In a feature article published April 10, 2021 in The Times of London, ‘headlined British Columbia has what it takes to rival Napa Valley,’ the valley is praised extensively for its natural beauty and wine. (File photo)
From the U.K. with love: Okanagan wine, scenery receives international praise

The Times of London newspaper recently featured the valley in a wine and travel piece

FILE — In this March 31, 2021 file photo, a nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaxmobile, at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center, in Uniondale, N.Y. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating clots in six women in the days after vaccination, in combination with reduced platelet counts. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
72 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases in the region to 9,666 since the pandemic began

Arlene Howe holds up a picture of her son, Steven, at a memorial event for drug overdose victims and their families at Kelowna’s Rotary Beach Park on April 14. Steven died of an overdose at the age of 32 on Jan. 31, 2015. (Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
Moms Stop the Harm members placed crosses Wednesday morning, April 14, on Rotary Beach in memory of children lost to drug overdoses. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Kelowna mothers remember children lost to the opioid crisis

It has been five years since illicit drug deaths was announced a public health emergency

A member of the Oliver Fire Department works on the wildfire near the Cottages at Osoyoos Lake on Tuesday night. The fire is believed to have been caused by a human. (Oliver Fire Department Facebook)
UPDATE: Osoyoos wildfire believed to be human-caused

The Oliver Fire department also responded to another fire along the hike and bike trail on Saturday

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Amandalina Letterio - Capital News)
Kelowna demonstrators show support for Vancouver Island logging activists

Two Kelowna men stood atop a pedestrian bridge on Harvey Avenue to raise awareness about old-growth forests

desert hills estate winery grapes
Osoyoos winery back in business after clean bill of health

Desert Hills chose to temporarily close after a close contact tested positive for COVID

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
WATCH: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among the encouraged ventilation measures

Hikers are still able to climb to the top of Giant’s Head Mountain in Summerland, but the paved road to the upper parking lot will be closed from 7 a.m. to noon and all day on Sundays. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland park partially closed to vehicle traffic

Giant’s Head Mountain Park gates will be closed to cars until noon

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Most Read