Versace has publicly apologized for an image on one of its T-shirt. The design on the T-shirt indicated that Hong Kong and Macau were independent territories. The inference evoked a strong criticism in China.
In the wake of the situation, Versace apologized by committing that it “respects the sovereignty of China’s territorial state” and also stopped selling the tops.
The T-shirt features city-country pairs like London-UK, Milan-Italy. As such, it also included Hong Kong-Hong Kong and Macau-Macau.
China has always maintained strict policies with regards to how foreign firms describe Hong Kong, which is part of China, having a special status. Macau is considered as a special administrative region of China.
In a previous episode, Beijing had demanded that foreign airlines adhere to China’s sovereignty claims and also change the way they refer to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
Based on the statement owing to the situation, Versace said it had stopped selling the T-shirts and destroyed them as of July 24.
“We apologise for the dispute. We love China and respect the sovereignty of China’s territorial state,” according to a translated statement by Versace.
In his public opinion on the situation, the brand’s artistic director- Donatella Versace said in her Instagram post, “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.”
As a consequence to the misleading and sensitive image on Versace’s T-shirt, China’s brand ambassador for the brand – Yang Mi, quit from the brand title.
“China’s territorial integrity and sovereignty are sacred and inviolable at all times,” she said. In addition, the hashtag #YangMiStopsWorkingWithVersace had gained 860 million views on Weibo by Monday morning.