Dolce & Gabbana Apologize For Anti-IVF and Gay Adoption Statements Earlier This Year

Aug/14/2015 at 01:43 PM ET

Earlier this year, Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce took a lot of heat for statements Dolce made about gay parenting and IVF being unnatural (to recap, Dolce told Panorama magazine, “We oppose gay adoptions. The only family is the traditional one … No chemical offsprings and rented uterus; Life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed”). Celebrities boycotted the brand, a top exec stepped down and the designers laid low for a while. But now they’ve returned with an apology in Vogue for statements they say they didn’t mean.

Dolce & Gabbana jailStefania D’Alessandro/WireImage

“I’ve done some soul-searching. I’ve talked to Stefano a lot about this. I’ve realized that my words were inappropriate, and I apologize. They are just kids,” Dolce says in the September issue of Vogue. “You don’t need labels, baby labels.” And as far as IVF goes, he says he’s changed his tune. “I think everybody chooses for themselves. I don’t know everything about IVF, but I love it when people are happy. It’s like medicine. Science has been put on the table to help people.”

Gabbana supports Dolce in the article, adding that he, himself, wanted to adopt, but due to the Italian culture, he wasn’t able to. “When they ask if I wanted to be a parent, I say yes, of course, why not? But it’s not possible in Italy,” he says. “I had thought of going to California and having a baby, but I couldn’t bring the baby back to Italy, because you need the mother’s passport. I asked about adoption in Italy. It’s very hard for a straight couple here — imagine if you are gay!”

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Elton John led the call for a boycott in March, saying in part, “How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic.'” Shortly after that, stars including Victoria Beckham, Ryan Murphy and Kelly Cutrone joined in criticizing the designers’ statements, which came as a surprise to many who knew the duo, considering they’ve been openly gay for years. And it was that experience that helped them come around on their opinions about gay families.

“We made our first interview saying we are gay in 1999 … We lived together, and we talked about love, not sex or being gay. And it was headline TV news in Italy. But for us, it was normal!” Gabbana says. Adds Dolce, “Who needs an institution to tell us how to love? … We shouldn’t become too rigid. We need to understand, accept everyone.”

Read more from the designers here, then tell us: What do you think of their apology?

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