HONG KONG — Dolce & Gabbana apologized Wednesday to the people of Hong Kong after residents staged a series of protests outside one of its stores, accusing the brand of discrimination.

This story first appeared in the January 19, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“We understand that the events which unfolded in front of the Dolce & Gabbana Boutique on Canton Road have offended the citizens of Hong Kong, and for this we are truly sorry, and we apologize,” the Italian fashion house said. “The Dolce & Gabbana policy is to welcome the Hong Kong people, and that of the whole world, respecting the rights of each individual and of the local laws.”

The company concluded with wishes of a happy and prosperous year of the dragon. Lunar New Year’s Day, a major Chinese holiday, is Monday, and the coming year will be of that zodiac animal.

Locals cried foul in recent weeks after media reported that a Hong Kong resident had been barred from taking photos at the Canton Road store, in the Tsim Sha Tsui district. The reports claimed that Mainland Chinese and foreigners were allowed to take photos of the store.

Since then, there have been a series of protests outside the store, with the largest drawing reportedly more than 1,000 people. The protesters had vowed to continue demonstrating until they had received an apology.

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