Dec 18, 2018
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Fallout from Dolce & Gabbana rumbles on for fashion critic Suzy Menkes

Dec 18, 2018

Suzy Menkes, well-known fashion critic and editor at Vogue International, is facing ongoing backlash from Chinese social media users for her perceived support of Dolce & Gabbana.

Her public apology on Instagram for a review of the label’s Dec. 8 Alta Moda show, seen as too sympathetic to the Italian brand in the wake of its multimillion dollar racism row, has done little to quell incoming criticism. 

Menkes' apology, posted Dec. 13 on Instagram

“In my opinion, part of being a good journalist is to keep up with the times,” commented an Instagram user under the moniker @fashionprivilege___  in response to the apology. “And unlike the past, your readers do care about a brand and a designer that make racists remarks, and you failed to understand that.”

Another commented: “You’re still unaware of the true problem. Please at least make an effort to understand your mistakes before apologizing for them.”

Menkes is considered to have dismissed the brand’s cultural insensitivity in her review, published just three weeks after the Italian label came under fire for both an ad campaign and offensive comments allegedly made by Gabbana on Instagram.

Chinese media publication Ladymax claimed that Menkes, like many foreign journalists, was  -- intentionally or not -- muddying the focus the problem. For many Chinese consumers the major issue was the commentary from Gabbana and not the ad campaign, the website said.

Netizens also saw prejudice against the Chinese market in Menkes’ article itself: the use of the term “Far East” reflected a deep-rooted Eurocentrist logic, Ladymax said. The conclusion to her article was considered particularly offensive, describing the show as a mea culpa by the “chastened” designer duo, in contrast to a “struggling” China caught between communism and consumerism.


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