On March 1st, we filed a defense of our freedom of speech in answer to defamation claims brought in a Milan court by Dolce & Gabbana. The lawsuit argues that we should be held responsible for lost revenue and other harm to Dolce & Gabbana and its co-founder Stefano Gabbana after we criticized their 2018 advertising campaign on Weibo for its stereotypical and sexist depiction of a Chinese woman, and revealed anti-Asian remarks originating from Gabbana’s Instagram account.
Following the widespread negative response to its advertising campaign and the withdrawal of many Chinese models and guests from a planned fashion show in Shanghai, the event was canceled and Dolce & Gabbana issued a public video apology featuring its founders. Shortly thereafter, in early 2019, the brand filed an action for defamation demanding that we pay damages in the amount of €3 million for Dolce & Gabbana and €1 million for Stefano Gabbana.
The nonprofit Fashion Law Institute, based at Fordham Law School, is coordinating our defense through its pro bono clinic in collaboration with Italian law firm AMSL Avvocati, which has graciously agreed to represent us at a reduced rate. We need your help more than ever to raise funds to cover law firm costs, filing fees, and other legal expenses. Will you consider donating to our Gofundme?
Having cultivated Diet Prada as a platform where we can denounce racism, amplify stories from the larger BIPOC community, and hold the fashion industry to a higher ethical standard, has been one of the most rewarding experiences thus far and our only hope is to protect that. Going up against a large luxury brand is daunting, but your contribution means we can continue protecting our fundamental rights, but also preserve what is so special about the Diet Prada community.
- Elizabeth Cook
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