Donatella Versace Apologizes To Chinese Customers Over Controversial T-Shirt
By Izza Sofia, 13 Aug 2019
Image via Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock.com
Luxury brands Coach, Versace and Givenchy have all come forward to issue public apologies over some of their garments, which are currently a point of contention in China.
Versace was heavily criticized by Chinese social media users after the company released a t-shirt that implied Hong Kong and Macau were independent countries.
The graphic displayed the names of different cities around the world next to their countries, such as Milan, Italy and London, UK. However, Chinese territories such as Hong Kong and Macau were displayed as “Hong Kong- Hong Kong” and “Macau- Macao,” suggesting that they were separate nations from China.
Under the “One-China” policy, Hong Kong and Macau are considered “Special Administrative Regions.” It states that the two are territories of China but have completely different governing and economic systems.
The controversy has pushed Versace’s own artistic director Donatella Versace to issue a public apology to Chinese customers. She expressed that the company was “deeply sorry” for the product’s “inaccuracy,” and that it was not the intention of the company nor herself to “disrespect China’s National Sovereignty.”
The outcry, too, has forced Versace’s Chinese brand ambassador Yang Mi to withdraw from her contract with the company.
Separately, Coach and Givenchy have also come under for listing Hong Kong and Taiwan as independent countries on their t-shirts.
According to CNN, a Chinese ambassador for Givenchy, Jackson Yee, and Coach spokesperson Liu Wen have both cut ties with these fashion houses due to the “misattributed territorial ownership.” Givenchy and Coach have also apologized to Chinese consumers on their Instagram accounts.
Italian luxury brand @Versace apologizes on Sunday for mislabeling China's #HongKong Special Administrative Region and #Macau Special Administrative Region as countries on one of its T-shirt designs pic.twitter.com/V8Uyk2GXEu— People's Daily, China (@PDChina) August 11, 2019
US-based fashion brand #Coach, which lists China's island of #Taiwan and #HongKong Special Administrative Region as separate countries on its website, is sparking an outrage on Chinese social media and a potential boycott by Chinese consumers. pic.twitter.com/ZwKKknGBZd— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) August 12, 2019
@givenchy @Coach— ZhangYe__Evelyn (@ZYe0408) August 12, 2019
After coach Nevertheless, It seems that Givenchy's and Givenchy's spokespersons have to come out and give us a statement. These big brands come to China to make money while challenging our bottom line one after another on the issue of principle. pic.twitter.com/dCRX7KtWdP
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The house of Givenchy firmly respects China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Immediate actions have been taken to recall the inaccurate t-shirt design from all markets, and measures of product and process review have been and will continue to be taken to avoid similar situations in the future. The House of Givenchy wishes to sincerely apologize for this mistake that does not reflect the deep respect it has for its Chinese audiences throughout the world, as well as renew its commitment to pursue its longstanding relationship with the market in the most thoughtful way.
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Coach respects and supports China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. In May 2018, we found a serious inaccuracy in the design of a few T-shirts. We immediately pulled those products from all channels globally. We also reviewed our entire assortment to ensure compliance, and have strengthened our internal product development process to avoid the occurrence of a similar issue in the future. We are fully aware of the severity of this error and deeply regret it. We have also taken immediate action to review and correct relevant website content. Coach is dedicated to long-term development in China, and we respect the feelings of the Chinese people. We will continue to strive to provide exceptional products and service to Chinese customers.
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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. pic.twitter.com/5K8u3c4Dbm— VERSACE (@Versace) August 11, 2019
[via HYPEBAE, Yahoo opening image via Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock.com]
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