Dolce & Gabbana’s anti-LGBTQ+ history resurfaced earlier this week after celebrity stylist Brad Goreski wore a suit designed by the brand to the People’s Choice Awards.
Goreski came under fire Monday when freelance writer and editor Evan Ross Katz tweeted a photo of the gay television personality, who is currently a talking head on Fashion Police, and chastised him for supporting a company with such a poor track record on LGBTQ+ issues. “Oh baby not my gay ass,” Katz wrote.
After fashion commentator Luke Meager, who tweets under the handle @hautelemode, called Goreski out in a video referring to him as a “dummy bitch” and “ignorant idiot,” the celebrity reportedly began deleting comments and blocking critics.
While Dolce & Gabbana co-founders Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce were in a relationship until their 2013 split, the men behind the iconic fashion house have said some frankly baffling things about LGBTQ+ rights over the years. Meanwhile, it has been one of the few brands to dress First Lady Melania Trump, despite her husband’s virulently anti-LGBTQ+ policies.
For starters, Gabbana told Italy’s Panorama magazine in 2015 that children of same-sex couples conceived through artificial insemination are “synthetic” and created from “semen chosen from a catalog.”
“The only family is the traditional one,” he claimed. “Life has a natural flow; there are things that cannot be changed.”
The statement was met with major outcry, with celebrities like pop singer Ricky Martin and rock icon Courtney Love referring to the comments as “senseless bigotry.” Beloved musician Elton John got more personal, responding to Gabbana on Instagram: “How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic?’”
“Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions,” said John, who has two children, Zachary and Elijah, with husband David Furnish. “I shall never wear Dolce & Gabbana ever again.”
Gabbana eventually apologized but not before calling John a “fascist” and calling for a boycott of his music.
That wasn’t Gabbana’s only shot at LGBTQ+ families, however. In the same interview, he claimed that he did not believe that same-sex couples should be raising children at all, saying that he was “opposed to the idea of a child growing up with two gay parents.
“A child needs a mother and a father,” he said. “I could not imagine my childhood without my mother. I also believe that it is cruel to take a baby away from its mother.”
If such rhetoric from one of the most visible LGBTQ+ people in fashion weren’t baffling enough, Gabbana has claimed that he rejects the label “gay” because he is “simply a man... full stop,” as if being gay and being a man were somehow in opposition to one another.
“The word ‘gay’ was invented by those who need to label people,” he told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, “and I don’t want to be identified by my sexual choices.”
More recently, the fashion house has been a favorite of the White House, with Melania sporting its clothes on several occasions. Mrs. Trump wore a floral Dolce & Gabbana jacket during a 2017 trip to Sicily and donned a black gown to a 2018 Thanksgiving dinner at the president’s private resort, the Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. At the time, the pair retailed around $4,490 and $51,000, respectively.
Even as designers like Christian Siriano, Tom Ford, and Marc Jacobs have refused to dress the First Lady following her husband’s 130 attacks on the LGBTQ+ community, Gabbana has spoken out in support of Melania wearing their clothes. He has also dismissed calls from critics to boycott the brand.
Gabbana — who also has a history of being racist and sexist — has yet to respond to the blowback over Goreski’s red carpet look from earlier this week, but this story will be updated should he release a statement.