New Delhi: Newly-appointed US Vice-President Kamala Harris came under criticism for wearing clothes by luxury brand Dolce & Gabbana, that has in the past come under scrutiny for being “racially offensive“.
In its story on the issue Tuesday, The Guardian noted that Harris had sported a polo-necked wool jumper while attending a lunch with US President Joe Biden. Harris wore a “grey checked blazer and trouser suit” for the swearing-in of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and a “chevron jumper when Biden signed executive orders in the White House”.
“It’s possible but also incredibly sloppy. They could and should be better, especially after the triumphs of last week. The timing of this, so soon after her inaugural choices championed lesser-known American designers of colour is awful no matter how you look at it,” Vignone added.
The Italian fashion house, run by Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce, is no stranger to controversies. In 2019, the firm was forced to cancel its show in Shanghai after its “DG Loves China” campaign was called out for being racially insensitive. The company had posted a video of a model struggling to eat pizza and spaghetti with chopsticks.
Soon after, screenshots of an alleged conversation between the two lead designers of the company had also revealed “deeply racist ideas about the Chinese community”.
In 2012, people in Hong Kong rose in protest against the label after it banned locals from taking photographs in front of its retail store in the region’s Canton Road area. In 2015, the brand’s designers had come out against same sex parenting and it has also been vocal in its support for former US first lady Melania Trump.
Harris earlier praised for wearing labels by black designers
According to The Guardian’s report, Dolce & Gabbana refused to comment on Harris’ attire or the backlash that she has received.
Vignone, meanwhile, said, “I don’t think it’s a good idea for Kamala to wear so many new expensive items during her first week in office.”
She added, “I also don’t think she should be wearing non-American designers, especially when there are so many American brands to choose from … she and her team should care about the impact her choices have. For example she could lift up a smaller or more affordable business instantly.”
Harris, in the past, has been praised for her choice of clothing, especially when she wore three labels run by black designer-turned-entrepreneurs — Pyer Moss, Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson — during the inauguration event.