Versace and its artistic director apologise to Chinese citizens after T-shirt controversy

Luxury fashion brand Versace and its artistic director have apologised to China after Chinese actress Yang Mi terminated her contract with the brand.

The issue stemmed from a T-shirt which featured a list of city-country pairs, such as New York-USA and Beijing-China. However, it described Hong Kong and Macau as “Hong Kong-Hong Kong” and “Macau-Macau”.

Images of the T-shirt were widely posted on Chinese social media. Mi, a famous Chinese actress, has ended her contract with the brand in response to the design of the T-shirt.

“Our company and Yang found online that some clothing designed by Versace is suspected of damaging China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity. China’s territorial integrity and sovereignty are sacred and inviolable at all times. We, as a company of the People’s Republic of China, and Yang being a citizen of the People’s Republic of China, we are deeply offended,” said Jiaxing Media, an entertainment and media company partly owned by Yang, in a statement.

“It is the duty of all Chinese citizens to uphold the One-China principle and adamantly safeguard national unification,” the statement added.

The brand and its artistic director Donatella Versace issued an apology on Sunday, while the brand said on its Weibo account that it had stopped selling and had 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.

Donatella Versace also issued a statement on her official Instagram account.

“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.