Dolce & Gabbana recruited millennial influencers to walk the finale of their spring '18 runway show, and what the controversial designer duo got was true millennial rebellion. When Raury descended on the Milan catwalk, he removed his yellow hoodie to unveil the word "Protest" written across his chest, alongside "I am not your scapegoat," and "DG give me freedom."
With a closed fist raised high, the Atlanta rapper was responding to D&G's satirical "Boycott Dolce & Gabbana" campaign, which was released to poke fun at the anger they've received for proudly dressing First Lady Melania Trump. Though Raury was initially excited to make his runway debut with D&G, he was disappointed to learn they'd made a mockery of "boycotting" through petty $245 tees.
"Boycotting is the people's voice," he told GQ. "A protest is the people's voice. It has power. It changes things."
Having grown up in Stone Mountain, Georgia, where the Klu Klux Klan was born, Raury said he really felt the impact of D&G's mockery. "Who knows, if boycotss didn't happen, if Rosa Parks and M.L.K. didn't step up... who knows if I would even exist. Boycotting matters. Boyctting is real. Dolce's entire campaign says it's not real."
Through D&G's millennial-themed show, Raury said the designers were taking advantage of the young social media influencers they booked for the final walk. "I felt like Dolce & Gabbana was literally trying to use the youth to wash their hands of any sort of heat from anyone who wants to protest against them," he said, calling their work a "step backward" that speaks "for the 1950s" despite attempting to look "pro-forward."
In Melania's official White House portrait, she wears a $2,900 jacket from D&G, which the designers shared on Instagram, saying she looks "beautiful." When followers began criticizing the pair for dressing the First Lady, they quickly fired back, telling some to "fuck off" and others to "go to hell." The Italian designers have since dressed her for multiple public appearances, leading some to question if they're Melania's biggest fashion ally.
Designers, including Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs and Sophie Theallet have all openly stated they would not be dressing the First Lady or any member of the presidential family. "I was asked to dress [Melania] quite a few years ago and I declined," Ford said on The View. "She's not necessarily my image."
Miley Cyrus echoed Raury's views on the matter, writing that she "strongly disagrees" with D&G's politics. The "Malibu" singer's brother, Braison, was among the influencers walking in their Milan finale, which she celebrated on Instagram earlier this week. "I do support your company's effort to celebrate young artists and give them the platform to shine their light for all to see," Miley wrote to D&G.
"We are Italian and we don't care about politics and mostly neither about the American one," Stefano Gabbana wrote in response to Miley's criticism. "We make dresses and if you think about doing politics with a post it's simply ignorant. We don't need your posts or comments so next time please ignore us."