The Chinese are angry at the way their compatriot is depicted in one of the fashion brand photos. They believe that such images form stereotypes about Asian women.
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French fashion house Dior has been criticized and accused of “defaming Asian women” during an exhibition currently taking place in China, according to the South China Morning Post.
This is a photo that was part of the Lady Dior exhibition at the West Bund Art Center in Shanghai. It depicts an Asian woman wearing a traditional costume with smoky eye make-up and carrying a Lady Dior bag.
China Women News, a newspaper owned by the quasi-governmental arm of the All-China Women’s Federation, said in an editorial that Dior and the photographer’s aesthetic tastes “crossed the line”.
“Their behavior indicates their intent to humiliate Chinese women and distort Chinese culture,” the newspaper wrote.
The state newspaper Beijing Daily also criticized the photo with the caption: “Is this an Asian in Dior’s eyes?”
In turn, Chinese netizens reacted angrily to the publication on social networks of a photo of Dior taken for the brand by the famous Chinese photographer Chen Ming. According to netizens and Chinese media, the photo shows “scary eyes, gloomy face and nails in the style of the Qing Dynasty”, which will discourage the customer from buying something in the Dior store.
“They use discrimination against Asians to reflect the nobility of this brand. Who said it was art? I think it’s innate slavery”, “Western capital never treats Asians as people. How awful is Western culture!” , “The faces of some Chinese models are called high-class faces because they fit the definition of Asian people in the West, in fact, there are too many girls more beautiful than these high-end faces,” they wrote on the web.
While most commentators believed the photo perpetuated stereotypes of Asian women, some praised the model’s choice of dark skin, a clear departure from prevailing beauty standards in China, where fair skin is held in high esteem.
Fashion house Dior has not commented on the incident, but confirmed to Business of Fashion that the photo has been removed from the gallery. The brand also took a photo from the Chinese social network Weibo.
This is not the first time that Dior has stirred controversy in China. In 2019, the fashion house held a presentation at the university with a map of the country, excluding Taiwan. China considers Taiwan an inalienable part of China, but Taiwan has rejected unification attempts across the strait.
Dior, part of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods group, isn’t the only brand that has angered Chinese consumers in recent years. In 2019, Italian company Dolce & Gabbana had to cancel a high-profile fashion show in Shanghai after it posted a video of a Chinese model eating Italian food using chopsticks. In social networks, this attitude was called disrespectful and humiliating towards the culture of the country. After the scandal, sales of brands in China have fallen a lot and have not yet reached their previous levels.
Remember that in April, Dior held its first large-scale show in Shanghai since the beginning of the epidemic, gathering 1,000 guests under one roof.