One day after we reported that Versace had angered Chinese fans after labeling Hong Kong and Macau as countries rather than Chinese regions on a new T-shirt design, Coach and Givenchy have issued apologies for doing the same thing, CNN has said.
The tour-like designs, which see a number of countries listed on the reverse, have been deemed by many to undermine the country’s “One China” policy. This time, the brands listed Hong Kong and Taiwan as separate countries.
In Coach’s apology, the brand wrote that it “found a serious inaccuracy” and immediately pulled the shirt from all global channels. The brand said it was regretful of the T-shirt and stated it will “continue to strive to provide exceptional products and services to Chinese customers.” Read below.
Givenchy’s apology arrived next, with the French brand writing on Sina Weibo, China’s social media platform, that it will correct and “take immediate precautions against any human negligence and mistakes.”
After the Versace T-shirt circulated on social media earlier this week, Chinese actress, singer, and newly-signed Versace brand ambassador Yang Mi terminated her contract with the storied house, saying she was “deeply offended” over the T-shirt and that it is “the duty of all Chinese citizens to uphold the “One China” principle and adamantly safeguard national unification.”
Donatella Versace issued an apology following the controversy. “I am deeply sorry for the unfortunate recent error,” the designer wrote on Instagram “Never have I wanted to disrespect China’s National Sovereignty and this is why I wanted to personally apologize for such inaccuracy and for any distress that it might have caused.”
Taiwan operates independently of China and has had a separate government since 1949, but China still considers the region to be part of the “One China” principle.
Hong Kong and Macau both have semi-autonomous governments and are classified as special administrative regions of China, not as separate countries. The Versace controversy arrived as pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong entered the 10th consecutive weekend.