Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Versace apologises for T-shirt mislabelling Hong Kong, Macau as countries

Donatella Versace walks down the catwalk after her Versace presentation in New York Donatella Versace walks down the catwalk after her Versace presentation in New York
Adrian Cunningham | 12 August, 2019, 15:58

Luxury fashion brands Versace and Coach have apologised for making perceived affronts to China's national sovereignty on T-shirts, mistakes that cost them their high-profile Chinese brand ambassadors.

"Versace reiterates that we love China deeply, and resolutely respect China's territory and national sovereignty", the brand said in a statement.

'Never have I wanted to disrespect China's National Sovereignty and this is why I wanted to personally apologize for such inaccuracy and for any distress that it might have caused, ' she said.

Coach's China ambassador, supermodel Liu Wen, said on Weibo today that she had severed her endorsement deal with the New York-based label over a similar T-shirt, which also listed Taiwan as a country even though Beijing says the self-ruled island is a renegade province.

The T-shirt debacle comes amid a time of heightened sensitivities regarding China's relationship with Hong Kong.

Yang's announcement was posted Sunday on the official account of her studio, Jiaxing Xingguang, on Weibo, China's largest social media platform.

Versace has apologised for selling T-shirts it said attached incorrect country names to cities after being attacked on social media for challenging China's territorial integrity.

Versace issued an official apology in response to the incident and announced that the shirt is no longer for sale. She explained the decision with a declaration of nationalist belief stating that "safeguarding the unity of the motherland is the unwavering responsibility of every citizen".

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Shortly after, Jackson Yee, a member of one of China's most popular boy bands, TFBoys, announced on Weibo that he would stop working with Givenchy.

In May 2018, USA clothing retailer Gap apologised over a T-shirt showing a map of mainland China that omitted Taiwan, a self-governing island that Beijing considers a rebel province awaiting reunification.

In the current context when ... those who support Hong Kong independence are creating trouble wilfully ... a global brand like Versace has made a problematic T-shirt that calls Hong Kong a country.

Versace's T-shirt sparked criticism on social media, with netizens saying the T-shirt design conflicted with the "One China" policy.

Movie star Yang Mi has walked away from a lucrative contract with Versace after the Italian fashion house inadvertently sashayed into the Hong Kong row with China.

Nike pulled its collaboration with Japanese streetwear label Undercover from Chinese shelves in June after Undercover shared a post supporting contentious protests against a proposal to allow extraditions from Hong Kong to mainland China.

The design featured just the mainland and not territories that China also claims, such as Taiwan.