Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have mounted a counter-campaign based on their right to free speech in response to anger about their homophobic comments on gay families.
The two openly gay Italian fashion stars caused a furore last week by claiming that only traditional families are real families, that gay families are a “fad” and calling children from surrogate mothers or through IVF “children of chemistry” and “synthetic”.
Singer Elton John, who is raising two boys born via a surrogate, lashed out at the designers and called for a boycott of their clothes, one supported by a growing number of celebrities and the online community.
The designers later issued a statement claiming that their views are personal ones and that they do not judge people who have non-traditional families.
Through Instagram, Gabbana has now also claimed that the issue is really about “the fundamental principle of freedom of expression.” He’s posted a series of image in their defence, including one that reads “Je suis D&G” and “#boycottfalsenews.”
One follower lashed out: “Wtf? How dare you compare your shit to what happened in Paris with this post oh my gooooood”
Gabbana also reposted various memes attacking the designers and cynically commented that “#boycottdolcegabbana is the new black”.
He has desperately insisted that the boycott against him and his business partner is little more than “intolerance” against people who have different views and suggested that Elton John is a “fascist”.
“I condemn you because they do not think like me!!?? Madness !!! It is as if I boycott him because he had two sons in vitro!! I’m not an idiot !!! tolerance,” he wrote.
The designers have now also found an unlikely ally: America’s anti-gay National Organisation for Marriage (NOM) has come out in support of their views on family.
“Bravo to Dolce and Gabbana for daring to speak the truth; they are as bold in their speech as they are in their designs, and deserve to be applauded,” said the group on its blog.
“While others will continue to vent their disagreement, the billionaire pair are wonderful advocates for the true definitions of marriage and family.”
How the controversy will affect the multimillion dollar Dolce and Gabbana empire remains to be seen.