Izzue apologises for Nazi-theme clothing

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 August, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 August, 2003, 12:00am

Fashion chain says it had no intention to recognise or promote the Third Reich

Fashion chain Izzue has 'deeply apologised' for its range of Nazi-themed clothing, which it removed from its stores on Tuesday in response to public outrage.

'We have absolutely no intention to recognise or promote Nazism and [we intended] no political implication ... on the usage of the swastika,' Izzue says in a newspaper advertisement carried by the South China Morning Post today.

'In response to the comments received, display banners and all related merchandises have been immediately removed from our shops.

'We deeply apologise for any discomfort and inconvenience caused.'

The apology comes just three days after the store's marketing manager Deborah Cheng told the Post: 'This is Hong Kong, and Chinese people are not sensitive about Nazism.' She also said people should not be 'too sensitive', adding that 'most of the complaints are from foreigners'.

Today's apology describes the use of Nazi symbols 'as part of the military concept in our fall 2003 collection'.

Despite Tuesday's decision by Izzue to pull the offending clothing from shelves, the matter continued to draw a heated response from the public. Post readers were particularly angered by Ms Cheng's comments, with N.C. Chan of Central writing: 'I, for one, am outraged by the company's immoral and simply bad taste. Who in their right mind would glamorise Nazism when their symbols represent pure evil?'

The Post revealed last Saturday how Izzue's 14 stores had been decked out with swastikas and Nazi flags. The store decorations were to promote a line of similarly Nazi-themed clothing, which included references to Adolf Hitler.

The clothing and displays prompted outrage from the Israeli and German consulates, as well as the public. Israeli Consul-General Eli Avidar had said: 'It is unbearable to think that anyone can design a marketing campaign that desecrates the deaths of millions.'