During her 2020 presidential campaign, the California lawmaker and former attorney general have made herself known as a fashion icon. Harris began to receive backlash on the social media site Twitter after she chose to wear a Dolce & Gabbana dress during her 2020 presidential campaign launch. The dress included Asian motifs, such as a dragon and phoenix, that some claimed were inappropriate. Harris was listed by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People. Dolce & Gabbana was listed as one of “The 25 Best Dressed Real Women” by Vogue. Dolce & Gabbana received backlash after Dolce and Gabbana released a series of advertisements that showed an Asian woman attempting to eat Italian food with chopsticks. Dolce & Gabbana was accused of cultural appropriation and insensitivity in the advertisements by many.
Dolce & Gabbana was criticized for depicting Asian culture in a stereotypical way. Dolce & Gabbana styled the outfits worn by the model in the advertisement in a stereotypical way, such as having the model wear a Fu Manchu mustache and chopsticks in her hair. Dolce & Gabbana’s advertising has been accused of being racist before. Dolce & Gabbana was criticized in 2018 for an advertisement that showed a child dressed as Jesus wearing a crown of thorns while Dolce & Gabbana brand apparel was worn by other models in the advertisement. Dolce & Gabbana was accused of “trivializing” Christian culture and insulting Christians. Dolce & Gabbana was previously accused of being racist for an advertisement that showed a black boy dressed as a Catholic priest while Dolce & Gabbana brand apparel was worn by other models in the advertisement. Dolce & Gabbana was accused of “fetishizing” African culture. Kamala Harris has been criticized as well for not paying more attention to what brand/designer of clothes she wears as a public figure.
An important public figure at that, Dolce & Gabbana also had a close relationship with Melania Trump, former First Lady of the United States. Dolce & Gabbana designed some of her wardrobes during her husband’s presidency, including the dress she wore before the presidency. Dolce & Gabbana dressed Melania Trump when she was married to Donald Trump. It is worth mentioning that Kamala Harris did wear outfits designed by three black run labels like Christian Siriano, Christian Cowan, and Tracy Reese and many applauded her choice. Many are displeased with her choice to wear Dolce & Gabbana after choosing to support black run labels when inaugurated into the political spotlight. Dolce & Gabbana has not yet responded to these criticisms publicly. Dolce & Gabbana did defend Dolce and Gabbana’s advertisements in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, claiming Dolce & Gabbana was not trying to “stereotype anyone, Dolce & Gabbana said, calling the campaign “an art project.” Dolce & Gabbana stated that Dolce & Gabbana was “deeply sorry” that Dolce & Gabbana offended anyone with their campaign. They have also stated that Dolce & Gabbana does not “condone, support or think in terms of racial discrimination and Dolce & Gabbana has been a victim of discrimination.”