Diet Prada, a fashion commentary account run by Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler, has filed a defense in a 2019 defamation lawsuit leveled by Dolce & Gabbana. According to a post on Diet Prada’s account, Dolce & Gabbana is seeking damages for “serious and repeated defamatory conduct” related to Diet Prada’s coverage of its November 2018 #DGLovesChina marketing campaign. Although Diet Prada publicized aspects of its communication with Dolce & Gabbana, this post marks the first time the lawsuit has come to light publicly.

“With so much anti-Asian hate spreading in the U.S., it feels wrong to continue to remain silent about a lawsuit that threatens our freedom of speech. We are a small company co-founded by a person of color, trying to speak out against racism in our own community,” Diet Prada said in its statement.

Dolce & Gabbana’s controversy began with backlash against the #DGLovesChina campaign video, which sparked criticism citing racist and sexist characterizations of the Chinese model. The video was later removed, but the controversy continued as a series of offensive comments attributed to Stefano Gabbana in conversation with a follower were posted to Diet Prada; Dolce & Gabbana claimed that the account was hacked. Gabbana and Domenico Dolce released a joint apology video for the incident, but not before Dolce & Gabbana cancelled its Shanghai show amidst the outcry. Ecommerce group Secoo Holding and Yoox Net-A-Porter also pulled the brand’s products from its web stores.

Diet Prada says it received the lawsuit in early 2019 and that it asks for €3 million EUR (approximately $3.6 million USD) in damages for Dolce & Gabbana and €1 million EUR ($1.2 million USD) for Stefano Gabbana individually. Diet Prada says its defense is handled pro-bono, thanks to an agreement coordinated by the Fashion Law Institute with Italian lawfirm AMSL Avvocati, which will represent Liu and Schuyler for a reduced rate.

“Having cultivated Diet Prada as a platform where we can denounce racism, amplify stories from the larger BIPOC community, and hold the fashion industry to a higher ethical standard, has been one of the most rewarding experiences thus far and our only hope is to protect that,” Diet Prada’s statement concludes.

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