For years, stores in China have been selling fake Gucci goods that are intended to be burned and offered to the dead. This time, Gucci is serious about stamping out the fakes, even for those in their afterlife.
Not only do these stores sell paper Gucci goods, they’re also selling other paper-made products such as iPhones, cars, and watches, too. These paper-made knockoff bags and shoes are most popular during the Chinese traditional Qingming, a tomb-sweeping festival. It takes place in early April each year.
Though the paper knock-offs are sold all year round, this is peak season for the little knock-off shops. It is a period of time when the Chinese honor the deceased and the holiday usually involves burning paper (and present fruits) so they can be delivered to those in the afterlife.
“If they want a new car, it’s the only way to get one to them,” explained one shopkeeper surnamed Zhou, 42, who sells such paper products.
However, this time, Gucci is serious about wiping out the fakes.
“We want to prevent the public thinking mistakenly that Gucci is selling funeral products,” Gucci’s parent company, Kering, said in a statement to the Financial Times. They continued, “As a brand, we have to defend our intellectual property.”
As of now, Gucci Hong Kong has not taken any legal action against the shopkeepers.
But it’s just a matter of time.