Brands are not forgiven: after D&G in China, Prada (for racism) and Balenciaga stumble in New York

We still have the image of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana apologising  to the Chinese public for the promotional campaign D&G turned into a huge communication own-goal, that we find in the United States Prada (especially) and Balenciaga in an embarrassment if not equal, at least of the same nature. Because in all cases it is the social media public who is ready to identify any false step and trigger virulent reactions. So for example it is from Twitter that Chinyere Ezie, lawyer of the non-profit organization Center for Constitutional Rights, launched a campaign against Prada. The civil rights activist, seeing in the boutique of Soho the little monkeys of the Pradamalia collection (sold at $550), recognized the “blackface“, that is the stylization of the face of a black person as represented when the concept of politically correct still had to be invented. They are “imaginary figures without any reference to the real world – Prada was quick to respond -. The group has never intended to offend anyone; we despise all forms of racism and racist imagery”. Meanwhile, however, in the hashtag rain of #boycottprada, the Milanese brand has preferred to withdraw the offending accessory. Alyssa Vingan Klein, a fashion blogger, was also “innocently” walking through the streets of New York when she noticed the resemblance between the Balenciaga Resort collection bags and the tourist souvenirs produced by a Big Apple company, City Merchandise. And it is precisely on the basis of Alyssa’s tweet that the company, feeling a victim of plagiarism, sued the Kering group’s brand for having “with full will, intentionally and with purpose” filched the style and design to sell a product “virtually indistinguishable“. If in the first instance Balenciaga defended itself by saying that City Merchandise could not prove the copyright of the images, as the views of the Statue of Liberty and the New York landscape are not private property, now the news arrives from international press that the two sides have reached an out-of-court settlement. Details, however, are confidential.

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