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Stefano Gabbana, Domenico Dolce

Pietro D'Aprano/Getty Images

Dolce & Gabbana founders Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana say they did not mean to judge other people's choices when they criticized same-sex parenting and the method of conceiving children via artificial insemination, which sparked controversy on Sunday and a scathing response by Elton John.

The singer-songwriter, who shares two sons born to a surrogate with husband David Furnish, had said, "Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions." John's remarks included a call to boycott the luxury designer label.

Dolce said in a statement to E! News that while his own family was "traditional", that does not "imply that I don't "understand different ones."

"I was talking about my personal view, without judging other people's choices and decisions," he added. "I'm Sicilian and I grew up in a traditional family, made up of a mother, a father and children. I am very well aware of the fact that there are other types of families and they are as legitimate as the one I've known...But in my personal experience, family had a different configuration. That is the place where I learnt the values of love and family."

Gabbana said in his own statement, "it was never our intention to judge other people's choices. We do believe in freedom and love."

"We firmly believe in democracy and the fundamental principle of freedom of expression that upholds it," he added.

Neither designer mentioned John.

Dolce and Gabanna, who used to be involved in a romantic relationship, had made their controversial comments to Italian magazine PanoramaGabbana had called children conceived via insemination, a method used by both same-sex pairs and heterosexual couples, "synthetic."

He added, "The only family is the traditional one," while his business partner commented, "Life has its natural course, there are things that must not be changed. And one of these is the family" 

John's call to boycott Dolce & Gabbana drew support from several celebrities, including fellow gay parentsRyan Murphy and Ricky Martin as well as Sharon Stone, a mother of three adopted sons.