Luxury fashion label Versace and its artistic director, Donatella Versace, issued an apology to China this weekend after one of its T-shirts was criticised for identifying the semi-autonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau as countries.
On the company’s Weibo account, Versace said that it had made a mistake and had stopped selling and destroyed the T-shirts.
“Versace reiterates that we love China deeply, and resolutely respect China’s territory and national sovereignty,” the company said in a statement.
Images of the T-shirt were widely posted on Chinese social media, exposing the placement of “Hong Kong-Hong Kong and “Macau-Macau” alongside “New York-USA” and “Beijing-China”. Donatella Versace issued a similar statement on her official Instagram account. “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,” she said.
One of the China’s most famous actors, Yang Mi said on Sunday she was ending her contract to represent Versace in response. The split was one of the most viewed topics on Weibo on Sunday, attracting more than 640m views.