The drama began when Stefano shared this illustration of a pair of D&G sneakers to his personal Instagram.
The illustration, by Japanese illustrator Jumpei Kawamura, is of a pair of shoes from Dolce & Gabbana's Fall 2017 collection. The sneakers are embellished with sequins and studs — and text near the heel that reads: "I'M THIN AND GORGEOUS."
That's right: These shoes literally say "I'm thin and gorgeous." And people REALLY reacted to what they saw as a body-shaming message on this pair of $1,195 shoes.
"You don't think it's a little unresponsible [sic] to push a message of 'thin and gorgeous'? I hope this will be followed by a message of inclusion of all bodies?" wrote one commenter.
"You don't have to be thin to be gorgeous!" added another.
"I'm not thin but I'm gorgeous, honey," said the greatest person to ever live.
"I could care less about this," said one commenter. "But hey, tell this to mothers of girls with eating disorders."
Instead of seeing the light, Stefano leapt into the comments and described detractors as "idiots" who are "fat and full of cholesterol."
In these screen-grabs, which came from Stefano's verified Instagram account, the designer replied to one commenter by writing, "darling you prefer to be fat and full of cholesterol ??? I think u have a problem." (The recipient of his message later clapped back, writing, "I was full of a baby." So way to go, Stefano, on insulting a woman for being pregnant.)
He called the commenter who wrote, "You don't have to be thin to be gorgeous," an idiot.
His response to the person who called for a message of inclusion for all bodies by responding? "U think is better to be fat full of hamburger??? Stupid," he wrote.
And Stefano didn't stop, calling even mild media criticism of his body shaming-statements "idiocy."
Gabbana called out coverage from Footwear News, Refinery29 and Yahoo, writing, "When idiocy distorts reality!!! incredibile [sic]!!!! Next time we'll write LOVE TO BE FAT AND FULL OF CHOLESTEROL, the most stupid post ever!"
Many fans took him to task for his behavior; they reminded the designer that the fashion world (and the glorification of thin bodies over all others) can REALLY influence people's self-esteem — and he responded in increasingly petty and angry ways.
It goes without saying that behavior like this is NOT OK — and has ramifications far beyond Stefano himself.
Fashion has always had the potential to be an agent of major social and political change. With more and more designers seeing the importance of diverse runways and ad campaigns, it's so disappointing to see Gabbana HIMSELF going out of his way to defend such archaic beliefs about the way bodies "should" be.
Stefano using his sizable social platform to equate thinness to beauty and fatness to being unhealthy is absurd — likewise calling the media (and your customers!) hateful names.
These are the publications that cover D&G's collections, and the people who buy Dolce & Gabbana clothing, accessories, fragrances, and beauty products. With #BoycottDolceGabbana gaining steam on Twitter, it's only a matter of time before this hits the brand — not just Stefano himself — square in the wallet.