The beautiful, bizarre, and undeniably bitchy make-up of the fashion empire has never been concealed. Whether it’s the infamously harsh glare of Anna Wintour on the side of a runway, or the plot of The Devil Wears Prada, the fashion world is a world of politics. So what really happens when one of the largest designer brands in the industry, Dolce and Gabbana suddenly become the subject of a huge social media inspired boycott, influenced by someone who was once one of the ten wealthiest Brits in the music industry, Sir Elton John?
It came as nothing if not an enormous surprise to hear the outdated and shocking opinions of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana earlier this week. While it’s true that not every homo or heterosexual couple are supporters of IVF treatment or adoption, their statements caused mass fury around the world, both in the fashion sphere, and for thousands, if not millions of infuriated and offended members of society. Dubbing the population of people conceived by IVF as ‘children of chemistry, synthetic children’ is alarmingly inappropriate, so it was no wonder that Sir Elton took to Instagram within moments to share his disgust and begin the boycott, as a father of two young boys with his husband, thanks to IVF.
Dolce and Gabbana is a fashion giant, and ELLE UK magazine reported that their estimated turnover two years ago was a staggering £875 million. Despite the fact that the boycott was sparked by a legend in the music industry, and indeed the gay community, who has sold more than 300 million records, will a mere online protest really shake up the business? Well, it’s unlikely. It is not the first time that D&G have been under the spotlight for controversy, as in 2007 an advert in Spain portrayed a female model being held to the ground by a male, with three other male on-lookers….alarm bells ringing here; definitely not an advert we would hope to see displayed on underground platforms in 2015. Then, in 2009 the designers were subject to the issue of tax evasion, and both given a prison sentence, overruled only in October of last year. Clearly, these issues have not posed a problem for the company, as they continue to expand and attract popularity around the world, with celebrities (and the wealthy) alike.
Sir Elton John’s response to the designers was powerful, emotive and personal. It seemed to merge strong language with what we’d more often recognise as a classic diva fashion world spat, where he accused Dolce and Gabbana of ‘wagging [your] judgemental little fingers.’ Yet, the main argument came through with sincere effect;
‘how dare you refer to my children as ‘synthetic’…your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana again.’ #BoycottDolceGabbana
Of course, this received support from celebrities and designers also shocked by the opinions D&G openly shared. It seemed to be a fierce and deeply heartfelt disgust of their views. Perhaps this disagreement will conclude with a calm, and delightfully and typically diva-esque apology. Or maybe we will actually start to see the demise of D&G’s empire once and for all. Politics are common in fashion; we’ve seen it all before, eg. John Galliano and Dior…will this one go down in the history books too?