“Wow! that looks exactly like Pakistani truck art, were these inspired from that? Dolce & Gabbana.”
The Italian fashion label Dolce & Gabbana (D&G), in collaboration with Smeg UK, launches new kitchenware collection,’Sicily is my Love,’ featuring loud and vibrant artwork.
Although for both brands this artistic work may well be an inventive creation. But! Could Pakistanis really differ from its vitality and vibrancy visuals? Or, from the colours, extracted through the highways and roads of Pakistan?
So, do the kitchen appliances, at least distantly, resemble the iconic Pakistani truck art?
Of course, Pakistanis are not claiming the rights to the art. Indeed, art has no boundaries. But, an indication or reference to the basic inspiration would surely be considerate?
Meanwhile, further building on their collaboration between fashion, design and technology. This longstanding partnership between Smeg and D&G is described as a:
“Celebration of the rich Italian heritage of both brands,” says Smeg.
Decorated in the signature ‘Made in Italy’ motifs of D&G, the electronic collection includes a blender, coffee machine, toaster, kettle and a juicer.
In addition, according to the brands, each product features designs inspired by the traditional Sicilian art and folklore:
“Expertly decorated with quintessential Sicilian motifs; gold lemons and citrus fruits, prickly pears and bold, bright cherries.
“Each model also boasts a selection of delicate floral designs inspired by the coasts and landscapes of southern Italy and Mount Etna, surrounded by ornamental friezes and decorative leaf motifs.”
But, what about the colourful and energetic hues? Pakistanis can’t help but think about their attention-grabbing, world-famous truck art.
Whilst D&G fans have embraced this innovative idea, and are already looking to spice things up by introducing one of them into their kitchens, Pakistanis are not too impressed.
Twitter user Naila H. Maqbool Retweeted Dolce & Gabbana:
“@dolcegabbana @smeguk I hope you are giving this creativity the right name Pakistani Truck Art.”
Another social media user, Marya Zafar Qureshi, says on Facebook:
“Dolce & Gabbana at least you should have the guts of mentioning that your collection is inspired rather blatantly COPIED by the PAKISTAN TRUCK ART.”
Mostly because truck art is seen as a cultural symbolism of Pakistan. So could this be a form of cultural appropriation?
Hadia Toor adds on Facebook: “Wow! that looks exactly like Pakistani truck art, were these inspired from that? Dolce & Gabbana.”
In reply to Hadia, Asma Qadir comments: “This IS Pakistani truck art. Maybe some credits are due? (Remember the peshawri sandals fiasco?).”
Other Artistic Creations by D&G
Moreover, as a part of this artwork, in 2016, D&G teamed up with Smeg and created a collection of refrigerators. Featuring similar designs, a limited number of refrigerators were available to purchase at Dolce & Gabbana, costing more than £2000.
Interestingly, this is not the first time the giant fashion brand has created vibrant designs, which closely bear a resemblance to Pakistani truck art. In 2015, D&G launched a rickshaw-style vehicle shop, carrying cosmetic products.
It appears that this combination of culture, with fashion and technology, has constantly come under fire and will probably continue to do so.
On 7th May 2017, Smeg UK and Dolce & Gabanna will exhibit each of their artistic collaborations at the Harrods Art Partners campaign in London.