Culture&Arts

Versace loses Chinese brand ambassador amid T-shirt controversy

Versace loses Chinese brand ambassador amid T-shirt controversy

Luxury fashion brands Versace, Coach, and Givenchy have apologized for making perceived affronts to China's national sovereignty with T-shirts listing Hong Kong and Taiwan as separate countries.

Versace, bought by Michael Kors' Capri Holdings Ltd (CPRI.N) in September, said on its Chinese Weibo account that there had occurred a mistake and reported that as of 24 July, the sales of the T-shirts had been stopped and the assortment destroyed.

"Versace reiterates that we love China and resolutely respect China's territory and sovereignty".

"Never have I wanted to disrespect China's national sovereignty, and this is why I wanted to personally apologise for such inaccuracy and for any distress that it might have caused". Hong Kong and Macau were also listed but as independent nations and not Chinese territories, news.com.au reports. But it also described Hong Kong and Macau as "Hong Kong-Hong Kong and Macau-Macau".

Coach's China ambassador Liu Wen, a model, said on China's Weibo social media website that she had ended her contract with the company over a T-shirt which listed Taiwan as a country.

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.

"At all times, China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity are sacred and inviolable!" she posted on her official Twitter-like Weibo account.

The offending Versace T-Shirt. We are fully aware of the severity of this error and deeply regret it.

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That split was one of the most viewed topics on Weibo on Sunday, attracting more than 640m views.

Versace is not the first brand to find itself in controversy when it comes to China-Hong Kong relations.

It said it "respects the sovereignty of China's territorial state".

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

Following widespread discontent, Lam announced that the bill was "dead," but protests have continued as citizens fear the growing influence of Chinese authorities in Hong Kong.

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.

Italy's Dolce & Gabbana also apologized in November after its products were pulled from lucrative Chinese e-commerce platforms over an Instagram post seen in China as culturally offensive. Hong Kong, a former British colony, became a special administrative region of China in 1997.

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


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