Italian fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have issued a statement over the #BoycottDolceGabbana outcry [read here] saying it was never their intention to denigrate IVF or judge gay parenting and marriage. The comments by the duo which sparked the social media hashtag were from an interview where the two co-founders of the D&G line showed their support for ‘traditional’ families,
The only family is the traditional one. You are born and you have a father and mother. At least it should be like that. That’s why I’m not convinced by what I call chemical children, synthetic babies. They are wombs for hire, semen chosen from a catalogue. And then you have to explain to these children who their mother is.
Dolce and Gabbana have now responded to the boycott with a statement saying:
"We firmly believe in democracy and the fundamental principle of freedom of expression that upholds it. We talked about our way of seeing reality, but it was never our intention to judge other people's choices. We do believe in freedom and love."
Dolce also added;
"I'm Sicilian and I grew up in a traditional family, made up of a mother, a father and children. I am very well aware of the fact that there are other types of families and they are as legitimate as the one I've known. But in my personal experience, family had a different configuration. That is the place where I learnt the values of love and family. This is the reality in which I grew up, but it does not imply that I don't understand different ones. I was talking about my personal view, without judging other people's choices and decisions."
Elton John started the #BoycottDolceGabbana hashtag after translations of the interview came online. The celebrated musician whose two children with husband David Furnish were born via IVF and through a surrogate, wrote on Instagram;
In another interview today with Italian website, Corriere, Stefano Gabbana slammed Elton John as authoritarian, saying only ignorance could have led Elton John to call for his fans to boycott the Dolce & Gabbana brand.
On Elton John's comments on Instagram and his hashtag #BoycottDolceGabbana;
"I didn't expect this, coming from someone whom I considered, and I stress "considered", an intelligent person like Elton John. I mean, you preach understanding, tolerance and then you attack others? Only because someone has a different opinion? Is this a democratic or enlightened way of thinking? This is ignorance, because he ignores the fact that others might have a different opinion and that theirs is as worthy of respect as his."
On why he called Elton John Fascist, and whether he has heard from the musician yet;
“That would be useless! It’s an authoritiarian way of seeing the world: agree with me or , if you don’t, I’ll attack you.
On calling on his own social media for fans and followers to #BoycottEltonJohn.
“I was annoyed for a moment. It would be ridiculous. Either you like somebody’s songs or you don’t. When you go to the greengrocer’s, you don’t make sure that he agrees with your views on IVF. You just want to know if he has fresh products. This whole campaign came up online. It was created by a group of gay activists who put into our mouths words we never said. It became bigger and bigger. We are not boycotting and we will not boycott anyone. It’s like people who go to a football game to insult their opponents. That doesn’t make any sense. That’s preposterous.”
On what was the real message in the interview;
"We are about freedom. Anyone can make the choices they want. Domenico has his ideas, he made some choices. Elton John made different choices. Different choices, different lives. Equal respect."
On wanting children while Dolce does not;
It’s not a big deal. Domenico said that he’d rather have a traditional family. It’s his opinion. He’s not comfortable with IVF. It’s all about his traditional Sicilian upbringing. I have a different opinion. We have mutual respect.”
D&G Fashion Show Photo: Isidore Montag