Diet Prada Rebuffs Dolce & Gabbana in Defamation Lawsuit
Diet Prada, a fashion commentary account owned by Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler has filed a defense in response to the 2019 defamation lawsuit leveled by Dolce & Gabbana. Based on a understanding from a post on Diet Prada’s account, Dolce and Gabbana is pursuing damages for “serious and repeated defamatory conduct” in relation to Diet Prada’s coverage of its 2018 #DGLovesChina marketing campaign. Although Diet Prada has publicized aspects of its communication with Dolce and Gabbana, the post marks the initial appearance of the lawsuit publicly.
“With so much anti-Asian hate spreading in the U.S., it feels wrong to continue to remain silent about a lawsuit that threatens our freedom of speech. We are a small company co-founded by a person of color, trying to speak out against racism in our own community,” Diet Prada said in its statement.
The controversy began with backlash against the #DGLovesChina campaign video, which sparked criticism citing racist and sexist characterizations of the Chinese model. The video was taken down but the controversy stirred a series of offensive comments attributed to Stefano Gabbana in conversation with a follower were posted to Diet Prada; Dolce & Gabbana claimed that the account was hacked. Gabbana and Domenico Dolce posted an apology video for the inconvenience but not before Dolce & Gabbana cancelled its Shanghai show amidst the outcry. Ecommerce group Secoo Holding and Yoox Net-A-Porter discontinued selling the brand’s products from its web stores.
Diet Prada stated about the lawsuit which was received by them during the year 2019 seeking 3 million EUR (approximately $3.6 million USD) in damages for Dolce & Gabbana and €1 million EUR ($1.2 million USD) for Stefano Gabbana exclusively. Diet Prada also said that their defence is handled pro-bono courtesy of an agreement coordinated by the Fashion Law Institute with Italian law firm AMSL Avvocati, which will represent Liu and Schuyler for a reduced rate.
“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,” Diet Prada’s statement concludes.
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