Donatella Versace has issued an apology to the people of China after a Versace T-shirt design triggered fierce criticism in the nation.
Recently, designers at the Italian fashion label launched a range of T-shirts and hoodies which featured a list of famous cities and the countries they can be found in, such as ‘Milan – ITALY’, and ‘New York – USA’.
However, a major online backlash was sparked after consumers noted that the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau were described as independent countries on the pieces. The incident comes at a particularly sensitive time due to the protests taking place in Hong Kong at present, with tens of thousands of campaigners demanding leaders listen to their concerns about China’s political influence.
“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 apologise for such inaccuracy and for any distress that it might have caused,” the 64-year-old shared on Instagram.
In a separate statement, a Versace spokesperson confirmed the brand had stopped selling the garments and began destroying them on 24 July.
“Versace reiterates that we love China deeply, and resolutely respect China’s territory and national sovereignty,” they added. “The Company apologises 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.”
Yet, one of the label’s brand ambassadors, Yang Mi, has publicly announced she will be ending her contract with Versace.
The actress – one of the most famous stars in China – said “as a citizen of the People’s Republic of China” she was “extremely outraged” by the design.
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