Spent the long weekend unplugged from social media? We're here to catch you up on the latest. This week, celebrity intrigue and exciting launches abound! From the news of a popular boy band taking an extended time away from the spotlight to local boutique openings, here are the hottest news bites today.
Miley Cyrus and Kaitlynn Carter?
Seiko flagship boutique opens at Takashimaya Shopping Centre
A&W® Restaurant opens at AMK Hub
Foodies in Singapore, rejoice! A&W® Restaurant just opened an outlet at AMK Hub. Like its first branch at Jewel Changi, this space will also feature fun interior designs like a dedicated waffle island, which changes periodically. Expect all-time favourites such as the Cream Cheese Chicken Burger inspired from A&W® Okinawa, A&W® Chicken Coney Dog, and of course, the iconic A&W® Root Beer Float.
Missed last week's updates? Catch up here.
Coach, Givenchy and Versace apologise
It looks like sovereignty and territorial issues surrounding China doesn't stop at government press conferences and rallies; it has also trickled down to the fashion industry. Fashion brands Coach, Versace, and Givenchy recently issued their respective apologies to China for what is said to be a defiance to the country's "One-China" policy, a mandate stating that despite the differences in the socio-political systems between each state, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan all still fall under one sovereign jurisdiction.
Left: Coach shirt showing Hong Kong and Taiwan as independent countries (source); Middle: Versace shirt showing Hong Kong and Macao as solo states (source); Right: Givenchy shirt showing Hong Kong and Taiwan as sovereigns (source)
Despite being separate occasions, the three fashion labels all released tour shirt-inspired apparel naming Hong Kong and Macau as independent countries rather than special administrative states, and Taiwan as a renegade province status. Each brand has issued an apology on their respective social media platforms and claims to have retracted the items in question. Is this incident is more than what it seems?
Consumers call for boycott, celebrities severed ties
After the designs circulated and trended on the Chinese social media platform Weibo — causing an uproar there — many consumers call for a boycott against all three fashion houses. Many noted that at such a sensitive time for China, given Taiwan's continuous strain for severance and Hong Kong's ongoing rallies regarding the controversial legislation on extradition, making such a mishap seemingly undermining the One-China policy is indeed insensitive. It is worth noting, though, that the line of argument focuses on China being at the disadvantage more so than the states currently protesting against the Asian superpower.
Even Chinese celebrities and personalities who have worked or are presently working with the three fashion labels shared their two cents on the matter. Supermodel Liu Wen wrote on her Weibo account, "At any time, China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are inviolable!" She then went on to apologise for working with Coach and has shared that she is severing her ties to the brand. "I love my motherland and resolutely safeguards China's sovereignty," she added. Meanwhile, Givenchy ambassador and Chinese boy band member Jackson Yee also announced cutting his relationship with the fashion label.
Despite the seemingly humble approach of Coach, Givenchy, and Versace in addressing the situation, not everyone was convinced by this quick response against a controversy. After all, it seems like the implications of the actions were made not in consideration of the current socio-political issues between China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, but rather made simply to appease the inarguably large consumer market of the mainland.
HYPEBEAST writer Douglas Brundage wrote on Twitter that perhaps "cultural sensitivity only matters when it's a nationalistic superpower you're offending." Many news items also claim that the fashion labels' apologies dismiss the riots currently happening in Hong Kong simply by siding with China in this state of aggressive territorial unrest. International consumers have also shared their points on social media, saying that the three brands should be boycotted, not because of the t-shirt row they had with China, but rather for how easily they bent their will for the sake of potential profitability rather than rising above the issue to show support for the likes of Hong Kong and other territories uprising against China's rule.
Fashion brands at the palm of China
It's not the first time that fashion brands met with China's outrage, quickly followed by 'deeply apologetic' retraction statements. Just late last year, Dolce & Gabbana sparked controversy with a racially insensitive campaign, resulting in a mass boycott and a cancellation of their showcase in the East Asia country. Even Swarovski just recently released their own statement on a similar note, apologising to China for calling Hong Kong a 'country'.
On a business standpoint, it makes sense not to make a move against China considering their vast market influence. However, it is also clear why people from other nations consider the malleability of fashion houses when faced against this Asian giant a bit disappointing. Wherever you are on the issue of China's sovereignty and Hong Kong's uproar, this issue alone should be enough to make you rethink which brands you put your money and support's worth.
For more industry news, make sure you check out our weekly Insider Roundups.
Midi outfits are easy to style whether you're going to work, a family function or any party. In fact, it's one of the best garments to wear due to its length. With a slew of fashion icons sighted wearing this trend in public, it's safe to say that midi outfits are still dominating the industry. That includes the Clozette Community. Scroll away to curate ideas for your next outfit!