Luxury Italian clothing label Dolce & Gabbana has been at the intersection of fashion and politics since First Lady Melania Trump chose to wear its $2,895 blazer in her official White House portrait. While many designers have openly boycotted the First Family due to President Trump's political views and policies (In November 2016, Sophie Theallet wrote an open letter about the issue, noting, "Integrity is our only true currency"), Stefano Gabbana, one half of the design duo, has openly praised FLOTUS for wearing his pieces, consistently posting pictures of Trump to his Instagram. Dolce & Gabbana, the company, also proudly took ownership of the connection, becoming the first big brand to celebrate the First Lady's fashion choices.
These endorsements have not been met without criticism, though. When Gabbana first publicly thanked Trump for wearing the brand (and declared her a #DGWoman), many accused the designer of supporting "fascist" ideas and further normalizing the First Family. Followers of both his and the brand took to Instagram to express their disappointment, nothing they would #BoycottDolceGabbana and refuse to shop the brand going forward. (Trump wearing a $51,000 D&G coat while in Italy only added more fuel to the fire).
Now, Gabbana (and his line) has a message for anyone who disagrees with his decision to dress the First Lady — and it comes in the form of a $245 tee. This week, D&G launched a T-shirt design (available on its website for both men and women), emblazoned with a red heart, its name, and the hashtag #Boycott, which, according to the company, was "created in response to many comments on social media calling for a boycott of the brand." It also notes that the tops were "meant in an ironic tone — and not to be taken so seriously or literally."
Instagram commenters were, of course, quick to call out the brand, comparing it to the Great Pepsi Snafu of 2017; "Wow this is worse than the failed Pepsi commercial," one wrote. Another said, "Review your values and you won't be boycotted." Others, however, came to the brand's defense, calling the move "genius" and "clever;" "Love it! @dolcegabbana you are the best! Don't be like the others, be better and have your own opinion," a fan posted.
Gabbana himself has, naturally, not shied away from the criticism. In one photo on his personal Instagram account he simply captioned, "“Haters!!!! Remember #boycottdolcegabbana please.”