Clare Kane
Aug 16, 2019

Why the China t-shirt controversy is the cultural wakeup call luxury brands needed

A cultural insights expert argues that luxury brands must engage in regular 'cultural pitstops' to avoid errors like those made by Givenchy, Coach and Versace—and that there's no excuse for getting it wrong.

Clockwise from main: Burberry's ad; Versace's T-shirts and a shot from Dolce & Gabbana's ad

Versace, Coach and Givenchy have all come under fire this week for selling t-shirts that appear to undermine China's territorial claimsjust months after similar high-profile blunders from fellow luxury brands, Dolce Gabbana and Burberry.

Indeed, the shirtswhich listed Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as separate territories, violating the country’s One China’ policyhave sparked such outrage in China that many brand ambassadors have cut ties with the companies in question.

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