DHARAMSALA, 12 Aug: The Italian luxury fashion company, Versace has become the latest company to run afoul of politics and nationalist sentiment in China after it apologized to China for selling T-shirts that listed Hong Kong and Macau as independent territories.
Versace has apologised for selling the T-shirts that featured city-country pairs such as Milan-Italy and London-UK. It also listed Hong Kong-Hong Kong and Macau-Macau.
The luxury brand has apologized for it publicly on China’s Twitter-like Weibo social media platform, it said they have stopped selling the shirt and destroyed all of the ones it hadn’t as it spun up widespread outrage in China.
The incident also led to Versace’s Chinese brand ambassador, the actress Yang Mi, to part ways with the company.
The hashtag #YangMiStopsWorkingWithVersace had garnered over 860 million views on Weibo on Monday morning reports the BBC.
The ongoing mass protest in Hong Kong is said to have aggravated the matter.
Donatella Versace, the label’s artistic director has also issued an apology on her Instagram account.
“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,” she said.
Similarly, powerhouses of fashion Coach and Givenchy have both reportedly issued apologies to Chinese consumers for selling T-shirts that have caused angry citizens to call for a boycott of the brands.
Coach and Givenchy have reportedly also listed Hong Kong and Taiwan as a separate country much to the dismay of Chinese netizens.
Last year, an American multinational clothing and accessories retailer, Gap Inc. has also apologized to China for selling a T-shirt with an incomplete Chinese map earlier in May last year.
The trio now joins the long list of companies to run afoul of politics and nationalist sentiment in China that includes Delta Air Lines, medical device-maker Medtronic and fashion brand Zara, the German auto giant Daimler and Marriott.