Diet Prada is used to finding itself in fashion hot water, and Dolce & Gabbana isn't new to controversies. However, the luxury brand's defamation lawsuit just turned up the heat – on both counts.
The lawsuit is part of the fallout from Dolce & Gabbana's disastrous 2018 #DGLovesChina campaign – a now-infamous ad featuring a Chinese model attempting to eat Italian food with chopsticks –when Diet Prada accused the luxury fashion house of racism. The saga continued when racist comments that allegedly originated from brand co-founder Stefano Gabbana's Instagram account surfaced and were published by Diet Prada, bringing the brand further under fire.
In early 2019, Dolce & Gabbana filed an action for defamation in civil court in Italy, accusing Diet Prada’s founders of initiating a “smear campaign” and “serious and repeated defamatory conduct” aimed at damaging the Italian brand. Since then, D&G claims it has lost revenue and other opportunities. It has argued this was partly due to Diet Prada’s alleged defamatory reporting of the incident, as well as its “illegal publication of Stefano Gabbana’s private conversations” on Instagram.
Now in a turn of events, Diet Prada has given their take on the battle. Talking to the Associated Press, founders Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler, announced how not only does the Italian brand demand €3 million (estimated at $3.6 million) in damages for Dolce & Gabbana and €1 million ($1.2 million) for Gabbana himself, but the fashion house is seeking €450 million (estimated $600 million) to "restore brand image since 2018". AP also reports the suit also "seeks more than$8.6 million euros for the cancellation of the Shanghai show, another 8.6 million euros for staff expenditures and 89.6 million euros for lost Asian sales from November 2018-March 2019." At the time of writing this, Diet Prada has raised more than $38,000 for its defense.
The Fashion Law reports the duo behind Diet Prada has filed a lengthy formal answer to Dolce & Gabbana’s complaint, accusing the brand of “abusing” the judicial process and asking a court to remedy these charges.
Dolce & Gabbana has yet to comment on the development, but Diet Prada made a statement on Instagram yesterday. “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," it read. "We are a small company co-founded by a person of color, trying to speak out against racism in our own community."