Hong Kong fashion retailer Giordano partially withdrew a “sexist” t-shirt campaign on Monday following an online backlash.
Its “Team Family Series” included men’s t-shirts featuring the word “work” above a dollar sign, and women’s t-shirts featuring the word “cook” and “I like to cook for my kids” alongside illustrations of sandwiches. Social media users hit back, calling the range “another great step backwards for feminism” in Hong Kong, and the latest in “a long line of tone-deaf ads.”
In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the store admitted it had received complaints and said it was proud of its apparel, which it designed for everyone regardless of ethnicity, nationality, culture or gender: “We agree that the ultimate products could be a better way in presentation that is one of many ways to presenting the love to family which did not reflect our entire true values.”
It said the chosen words on each of the shirts were intended “to depict different, random aspects of life.”
Promotions featuring the t-shirts had been removed from its customer-facing website and social media pages as of 11pm on Monday. But the line remains on sale and the promotion was still visible at some stores, on YouTube and on its corporate website on Tuesday.
“Stereotyping and sexism, or any kind of prejudice, however unintentional or passive, has no place at Giordano or in society. At Giordano, we celebrate a diverse range of definitions for family and did not intend to enforce traditional, gendered stereotypes,” the statement said.
Founded in 1981, Giordano operates 75 stories in Hong Kong and Macau.
The company did not respond to questions submitted by HKFP.