Gucci Apologizes for Asking Hong Kong Funeral Shops to Remove Paper Fakes

Luxury fashion brand Gucci warned Hong Kong shops -selling paper handbags -ONE TIME USE-H 2016
AARON TAM/AFP/Getty Images

The luxury label is saying sorry for "any misunderstandings" and that it has the "utmost respect" for the funeral rites.

In Chinese culture, it's common for the living to burn paper money, as well as mock-up versions of mansions, cars and luxury bags, as gifts for deceased relatives to enjoy in the afterlife. This act is widely practiced during the Qingming "Tomb-Sweeping" Festival, which typically takes place in early April in China and Taiwan.

However, one luxury label didn't appreciate that their designs were being replicated. According to BBC, Gucci sent out warning letters to several Hong Kong shops selling paper versions of the brand's handbags. Some stores removed their Gucci-inspired pieces, but continued to sell other labels including Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent and Burberry, reports the British news site.

Now Gucci is retracting its warning, stating that it won't be pursuing legal action.

Kering, parent company of Gucci, issued a letter to BBC, saying that they "trusted the shops were not trying to infringe on Gucci's trademark."

"We regret any misunderstandings that may have been caused and sincerely apologize to anyone we may have offended through our action," the letter continued to read. Kering also stated that it had the "utmost respect" for the funeral rites.

The practice of burning paper luxury goods is believed to keep the spirits of ancestors happy as they continue to watch over living relatives.