Versace, a leading luxury clothing brand of the world, got into trouble over a row that concerned a t-shirt. The t-shirt, which was allegedly of the brand, misrepresented the identities of Hong Kong and Macau as independent countries and not the cities that they are. Hong Kong and Macau fall under the territorial boundaries of China and people seem to take this move of Versace in a way that this move was meant to challenge the territorial integrity of China.
This didn’t go well with the Chinese people on Weibo and they bashed the brand for manufacturing clothes that played with the national identities of people and didn’t take into account the cultural complexities of the move.
The brand apologized publicly after a famous Chinese actor cut the chord with the brand, accusing the brand of challenging China’s sovereignty. Yang Mi, the brand ambassador of Versace, sent the notice to Versace to terminate their contact with immediate affect. Yang Mi stated that for them, the sovereignty and integrity of their motherland is the most important thing in the whole world.
In their apology, Versace stated that all the t-shirts have been either withdrawn from the market or destroyed and they deeply regret their decision of passing them on into the market. “It’s our company’s negligence and we express deep apology for the impact it caused,” Versace said on Weibo, the Chinese social media site. Versace reiterated that they love China and resolutely respect China’s territory and sovereignty.”
Versace is not the first to have gotten flak over the political situation in China. But after the apology, the storm seems to have tasted the dust.