Back in 2007, German fashion designer Philipp Plein stirred up controversy on the Chinese web when he released a T-shirt embellished with the words “F-U-C-K YOU CHINA”. Now, Plein is trying to make a comeback in the Chinese fashion market, but web users aren’t going to let him, or other potential customers, forget about the ghosts of his past— those damn limited edition cotton T-shirts.
As an effort to charm Chinese customers, the brand opened an official Weibo account in August and attracted more than 28,000 followers. It wasn’t until early June, however, that Weibo users brought up the T-shirts that caused so much hullaballoo eight years ago.
Plein had previously claimed that the letters on his t-shirt stood for “the fascinating and urban collection: kiss you China,” and that he never meant to offend anyone.
To this day, however, people aren’t buying it, and it appears that many Chinese consumers’ feelings are still “greatly hurt”, as Shanghai Daily columnist Wu Jiayin proclaimed in a article from 2007. Many netizens took on the brand’s Weibo account to voice their anger over the company’s “racist” history.
“Sorry, we have not forgotten! And now you want to sell us clothes? Get out of China and never come back!” said one user.
“I wonder how they still dare to step into the Chinese market,” another said.
The German fashion brand has decided to shut down comments on its Weibo account to avoid anymore backlash.
Plein has at least 10 boutiques in China, known as KULT, and the designer plans to open four more by the end of the year.
[Images via QianZhan.com]
By Sharon Choi