The luxury fashion label Versace and its artistic director, Donatella Versace, apologised to China on Sunday after one of its T-shirts was criticised for identifying the semi-autonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau as countries.
Versace said on its Weibo account that it had made a mistake and had stopped selling and destroyed the T-shirts on 24 July.
“Versace reiterates that we love China deeply, and resolutely respect China’s territory and national sovereignty,” the company said in a statement.
The T-shirt, images of which were widely posted on Chinese social media, featured a list of city-country pairs, including “New York-USA” and “Beijing-China”. It described Hong Kong and Macau as “Hong Kong-Hong Kong and “Macau-Macau”.
Donatella Versace, the sister of the fashion house’s late founder, Gianni, 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.
Yang Mi, one of the country’s most famous actors, said on Sunday she was ending her contract to represent Versace in response. That split was one of the most viewed topics on Weibo on Sunday, attracting more than 640m views.