Thierry Gillier, founder of label Zadig and Voltaire, said his comment during an interview with Women's Wear Daily was misunderstood, the BBC reported Friday.
Gillier told the magazine the hotel "won't be open to Chinese tourists," but he now says the statement was meant to illustrate the exclusivity of the hotel and show it would not be geared toward mass tourism.
"My remarks were doubtless clumsy ... I understand they might have hurt my friends from China, France or elsewhere, and I am deeply sorry for that," he said in a statement Thursday.
The Zadig hotel is scheduled to open in 2014.