Ruonan Zheng
Aug 19, 2019

Versace, Coach & Givenchy: Measuring the gravity of the China t-shirt controversy

With heightened political and social tension between Hong Kong and mainland China, luxury brands should pay extra attention to what they say, do, and sell.

Yang Mi in Versace Pre-Fall 2019 campaign. The controversy started with a Weibo post on August 11 with an image of a Versace T-shirt from its 2019 Spring and Winter collection, which listed Hong Kong and Macau as independent countries. Photo: Versace

The recent problematic shirt design that landed Versace at the center of heated debate on Chinese social media is pinpointing the gravity of political and social ignorance.

Despite a swift official apology, the damage was already done. Millions of users joined in persecuting the brand, while its newly appointed China brand ambassador, Yang Mi, cut ties. The anger did not stop there, as Chinese netizens quickly accused other brands like Coach and Givenchy of anti-China...

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