Just when you thought Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were free from controversy, the designers have stepped in it. Again. The pair, who spent all of last year fighting charges of tax evasion that were ultimately cleared last October (after they were initially convicted), gave a controversial interview in Italy’s Panorama magazine that is ruffling more than a few feathers. In it, they speak out against nontraditional families, specifically mentioning gay couples (both men are gay, by the way) and in vitro fertilization.
"You are born to a mother and a father. Or at least that’s how it should be," Dolce said. "I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented wombs, semen chosen from a catalog."
One can imagine how well this is sitting with some of the designers’ most loyal clients—many of them celebrities who can actually afford their expensive designer clothing. Courtney Love, Ryan Murphy, and Elton John have been the most vocal over social media, with the latter calling for a boycott of their clothing. John and his partner, David Furnish, have two sons that were born via surrogate.
On his Instagram, John posted a message that said, “How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic.’ And shame on you for wagging your judgmental little fingers at IVF—a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfill their dream of having children. Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana”
Love echoed the sentiment on her Instagram. “I just round up all my Dolce & Gabbana items and want to burn them. I’m just beyond words and emotions. Boycott senseless bigotry! #boycottD&G”
Glee creator Ryan Murphy tweeted, “These designers horrifying views are never in fashion. Their clothes are as ugly as their hate. #BoycottDolceGabbana”
As news of the interview spread, more celebs, including Sharon Stone, Ricky Martin, Al Roker, and tennis great Martina Navratilova, were supporting John’s argument. Of course the real condemnation will come when Madonna chimes in. She is close to the designers and has starred in their campaigns, but since she is a mother of four children (two of whom are adopted), we imagine that “Living for Love” singer will not be pleased.
But it’s not just Hollywood speaking out. This image of two handsome models embracing a baby boy from Dolce & Gabbana’s website has the Twitterverse going crazy pointing out the hypocrisy of their statements.
“D&G seems to think gay couples are only acceptable for marketing purposes,” wrote @eddyzdavis.
Following the online furor, the designers themselves had no choice but to issue a mea culpa statement. In an interview with The Guardian posted on Sunday, they attempted to minimize their remarks. “It was never our intention to judge other people’s choices. We do believe in freedom and love,” said Gabbana.”We firmly believe in democracy and the fundamental principle of freedom of expression that upholds it,” he added.