Italian luxury brand Versace has apologized to China on Sunday after releasing a T-shirt which implies Hong Kong and Macau are independent territories. The controversy erupted on social media in China, when a photo of controversial T-shirt appeared on Weibo.
The T-shirt featured a list of city-country pairs such as Milan-Italy and London-UK, but also included Hong Kong-Hong Kong and Macau-Macau. The brand immediately apologized via its Weibo account and said it had stopped selling and destroyed the T-shirts on 24 July.
The Company apologizes for the design of its product and a recall of the t-shirt has been implemented in July. The brand accepts accountability and is exploring actions to improve how we operate day-to-day to become more conscientious and aware. – says the official statement
The label’s artistic director Donatella Versace issued a similar apology. I am deeply sorry for the unfortunate recent error that was made by our Company and that is being currently discussed on various social media channels. 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. – said Donatella Versace
Versace’s China brand ambassador, actress Yang Mi, announced that she will stop working with the brand.That was the most viewed topic on Weibo on Sunday, with more than 640m views.
The controversy comes at an especially sensitive moment for China, as this a a 10th week of widespread anti-Beijing protests in Hong Kong.