London: Luxury French label Christian Dior is at the centre of racism allegations in China over a series of promotional images clicked to adorn the brand`s Shanghai flagship store.
The series of photographs show white models in haute couture posing in front of identical Chinese extras in workgear.
The images from the `Shanghai Dreamers` campaign have been branded "discriminatory and racist" and caused a storm in the media and blogosphere, reported a news website.
Photographer Quentin Shih who clicked the images has been forced to justify his actions.
"I wanted to show the power of Chinese people standing together and a kind of socialism in Chinese history. The Chinese models are not people. They are symbols," said the photographer.
However, his efforts have not succeeded in placating critics.
The Guardian`s Jenny Zhang believes the images will alienate a potentially lucrative clientele.
"Dior and Galliano should know better than to commission these photographs for their Shanghai storefront. They should have sent Chinese models for Shih to shoot, and should understand that the modern Chinese Dior customer will not recognise herself or himself in these photographs," she wrote.