Elton John calls for boycott of Dolce & Gabbana over "synthetic baby" comments

ROME (REUTERS) - British singer Elton John slammed Italian fashion duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana on Sunday and called for a boycott of their brand after the pair championed "traditional" families.

John, who has used his fame to speak out for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, chided the designers for criticising fertility treatment and same-sex parenting in an interview.

The singer and his husband David Furnish have two children. John uploaded a photo of the designers clad in black veils to his Instagram account with the caption: "How dare you refer to my beautiful children as 'synthetic'. And shame on you for wagging your judgemental little fingers at IVF ... Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana."

Italian magazine Panorama's website last week quoted Sicily-born Dolce, whose brand has long counted Madonna and Naomi Campbell among clients for its designs inspired by his native island, as saying: "You are born and you have a father and a mother. Or at least it should be like this, that's why I am not convinced by chemical children, synthetic babies, wombs for rent."

Dolce and Gabbana, who are now business partners after their romantic relationship ended, said on Sunday they had been talking about their own opinions and had not meant to judge others' behaviour.

"We believe firmly in democracy and we think freedom of expression is essential for that. We talked about our way of looking at the world, but it was not our intention to express a judgement on other people's choices. We believe in freedom and love," Gabbana said in a statement.

Motherhood was the theme for Dolce & Gabbana's women's fashion show in Milan earlier this year. Models in floral skirts and dresses carried babies, and Italian model Bianca Balti took to the runway heavily pregnant.