Melania Trump, Dolce & Gabbana’s Hot Mess

by

Melania Trump D&G Dress

Melania Trump wore a stunning black Dolce & Gabbana dress at an event in Palm Beach, Florida on New Years Eve last. She was accompanying her (shy and often misunderstood!) husband, Donald Trump and the dress was pretty, elegant and quite sexy all at the same time.

Edel Cox from Fuzion did a blog post ‘When Fashion Meets Politics in December ’16 if you’d like a read more of the interesting topic that is fashion and politics.

The photo of Melania in the classy long black dress was everywhere, quickly, and Stefano Gabbana, one half of the dynamic Italian fashion duo, Dolce & Gabbana, picked up on Melania’s dress as soon as the pictures were published (it’s unclear whether he sent it to her, or she bought herself).

Stefano posted a picture on his Instagram account calling Melania a ‘beautiful woman’ and a ‘#DGwoman’ soon afterwards. Very quickly  the fangs were out and followers, who may or may not have been genuine customers erupted in anger at D&G’s positive recognition of Melania.

Over 1,000 followers and fans reacted.

Melania Trump - USA

Social Media Fashion Catfight

Comments by the D&G audience included those who believe Melania should only wear American brands, to those who said her wearing it and the subsequent post was ‘offensive to the core’.

One woman said ‘Yuck. I think I just bought my last Dolce piece’ to which Gabbana replied by writing: ‘Great.’ He also included a heart emoji.

So disappointed‘ said one person.

I don’t care‘ replied Gabbana.

Stefano GabbanaGabbana lashed out  “How many stupid and ignorant people r on Instagram!!!!

Please if you don’t like my post unfollow me … thank u ❤”

Please don’t buy anymore of my fashion please!!! I don’t need an ignorant costumer!!!” before adding that he sees it as “just one dress” and therefore not a political talking point.

He shot back to one poster with the simple comment – ‘Ignorant

And then there was the person who told Gabbana: “Clearly I can’t buy your clothes any more. Good luck“.

Gabbana responded by writing: “good luck you too”

(the spelling and broken English above is his, not mine!!)

Later in the week Gabbana continued to post stories about the uproar over him pointing out that Melania, a former model, wore one of his dresses and looked good in the frock.

Some commentators did separate fashion and politics but in my opinion this negative reaction is bad brand news for D&G, particularly because of the way Gabbana handled it (or didn’t).

Brand Value

Surely this brand, being around for as long as it has, knows how to talk to people, customer or not, in a professional, polite manner?

Surely they are mature enough as individuals and a brand to rise above taunts and manage such social media chats without getting bitchy and offensive to anyone?

Or perhaps Stefano Gabbana is following Donald Trump’s methods and just being direct, extremely open and somewhat offensive – like it or not?

However surprising this fashion fight was to read, it’s very surprising that Stefano would stoop so low as to insult people, customers or not, in such an angry, aggressive and frankly, immature way.

I think this social media behaviour, being extremely rude to your audience is an awful one and although I’d still love to own some D&G (who wouldn’t!), it leaves a bad taste with me that a designer would get so personal, and then unapologetic and stubborn, with his audience.

Is he or the brand so big that it can simply tell people to stop buying it because they’re annoyed ‘in the moment’ with some negative remarks?

I don’t think any brand is that big that it can be so unpleasant with those who engage with it. The feeling I got from Gabbana’s overall  tirade on Instagram last week was that he came across as being arrogant and totally superior to everyone and I don’t think that should be in anyone’s communications strategy: angry, ’in the moment’ or not, whatever he was feeling it personally himself – don’t let it out there.

An online audience following, engaging with a brand or business is highly valuable – word of mouth, ambassadors, influencers are all in there and a business needs to care for this community and treat it with respect, which hopefully leads to an understanding of the brand, loyalty, and sales.

I would have thought Gabbana would have been well advised by his digital marketing professionals on how to handle bad press online and not get so overheated.

Melenia Trump wearing Ralph Lauren

(this time she is wearing the American brand, Ralph Lauren)

Aftershock

After the shock of reading the posts by D&G I’m assuming that they are typical red blooded, fiery Italians (which is mostly great!) and at the end of the day, it’s their business and they can feel and communicate the way they want to, about people making negative remarks online.

However I do think this kind of irrational behavior makes me, and perhaps many lose a good dose of respect for them. If they don’t value (customers) relationships, on or off line, why would anyone, customer or otherwise, feel good about buying or wearing their clothes? Or perhaps the exposure this got in global media was just the hot topic focus D&G wanted on the brand in order to stand out… would we dare ask him?!!

Great advice for Stefano (we do think it is great that he participates personally online – it’s a “real brand”) would have been to embrace the visibility and the free coverage that Melania Trump brought to the brand, be happy that a beautiful woman who has the world spotlight on her is choosing your brand over others. Then let anyone who wants to get upset about it have their voice but you stay out of it and maybe, just maybe..shut up!!

A simple piece of advice that we give clients about negative comments online is that very often the best thing to do is just..ignore them.

Anna Wymes, Fuzion CommunicationsAnna 

Anna Wymes is a PR intern with Fuzion Communications who have offices in Dublin and Cork

 

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: