Versace apologises after T-shirt angers China

Actress Yang Mi cut ties with Versace

Luxury brand Versace has apologised after an image on one of its T-shirts appeared to imply Hong Kong and Macau were independent territories.

After fierce criticism on social media in China, Versace said it had made a mistake and had stopped selling the tops.

It said it “respects the sovereignty of China’s territorial state”.

Fashion brands Givenchy and Coach are also facing a backlash for not adhering to China’s territorial claims.

The Versace T-shirts, images of which were shared on social media, featured city-country pairs such as Milan-Italy and London-UK.

These also included Hong Kong-Hong Kong and Macau-Macau.

China has been increasingly strict in policing how foreign firms describe Hong Kong, which is part of China but has a special status, offering its people more autonomy than those on the mainland.

Macau is a special administrative region of China.

In a post on Weibo, the Italian fashion label said it had stopped selling and had destroyed the T-shirts as of 24 July.

“We apologise for the dispute. We love China and respect the sovereignty of China’s territorial state,” a translation of Versace’s statement said.

The label’s artistic director Donatella Versace issued a similar apology.

“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 on her Instagram account.

The incident also led to Versace’s China brand ambassador Yang Mi, a popular actress in the country, cutting ties with the brand.

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