Stefano Gabbana retaliated Sunday to Sir Elton John’s call to boycott the fashion brand, and asked for the singer to be boycotted instead. John’s statement came after Domenico Dolce and Gabbana made comments, calling children born through the method of in vitro fertilization (IVF) “synthetic.”

Gabbana slammed John for criticizing the designer duo's Instagram comments, saying: “This is respect for a different opinion? #boycotteltonjohn,” the Irish Mirror reported. “It is simply arrogant not to tolerate those who think like him (Sir Elton) poor thing. We live in a democratic country and respect the ideas of others.”

In a statement late Sunday, Gabbana responded to the controversy, saying: "We firmly believe in democracy and the fundamental principle of freedom of expression that upholds it. We talked about our way of seeing reality, but it was never our intention to judge other people's choices. We do believe in freedom and love,” according to the Telegraph.

John, who married David Furnish in December, slammed the designers on Instagram for their comments on adoption in gay families, and called their views “archaic.” John also added a hashtag #BoycottDolceGabbana, which has been trending on Twitter since his comment. Several celebrities and social media users also joined to oppose the views of the designers. John and Furnish have two children Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, 4, and 23-month-old Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John.

Last week, the designers had said in an interview to Italy’s 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,” according to the Telegraph. Dolce had added, that procreation must be an “act of love," saying: “You are born to a mother and a father – or at least that’s how it should be. I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented uterus, semen chosen from a catalog."

Celebrities and social media users have condemned the statements made by the designers.