Gucci is being accused of cultural appropriation for selling a turban
17 May 2019, 12:09 | Updated: 17 May 2019, 16:48
"Who made the decision to capitalize on something so significant to Sikhs?"
Gucci is being called out for causing offence (again…) after sending a model down the runway in a turban. Turbans have hugely significant meaning in the Sikh faith and understandably people are offended they're being touted as the latest fashion accessory.
Gucci apologises for selling a "blackface" jumper
Turbans are worn to show others that the wearer embodies Sikh teachings and the love of the Guru. It's also so that others of any faith can easily identify a Sikh if they are in need of any help.
The "Indy Full Turban" was first shown at Gucci's fall 2018 show and was worn with suits and hoodies by white male models. The headpiece retailed for $790 (£619) and was available on Nordstrom's website, but it's currently "sold out".
Now, if you remember back in February, Gucci were forced to apologise for selling a jumper that looked a lot like traditional blackface imagery.
The Italian fashion house then launched the Gucci Changemakers program, an initiative designed to "support industry change and to foster unity through community action". They also vowed to make the Gucci team more diverse so that situations like this wouldn't happen again.
GUCCI IS CANCELLED ALL 2019 🙅🏾♂️ pic.twitter.com/YtGKdKZwqX— 4amtravo (@TravieJx21) February 7, 2019
Well, obviously they haven't been doing too well with that promise and now people are accusing them of cultural appropriation.
Seriously @Nordstrom @gucci ? The turban is one of the most important and symbolic articles of faith for Sikhs, and you’re selling it as a fashion accessory to make money? This isn’t the first time you’ve come under fire for cultural appropriation. Do better. pic.twitter.com/3KHtHSKEqm— Taran Parmar (@Tarankparmar) May 14, 2019
@gucci, who made the decision to capitalize on something so significant to Sikhs? And your team went as far as telling people how to accessorize for a "night on the town". You don't use a turban to add "pop of blue" in your outfit.— Aasees Kaur (@SouthernSikh) May 14, 2019
Dear @gucci, the Sikh Turban is not a hot new accessory for white models but an article of faith for practising Sikhs. Your models have used Turbans as ‘hats’ whereas practising Sikhs tie them neatly fold-by-fold. Using fake Sikhs/Turbans is worse than selling fake Gucci products pic.twitter.com/sOaKgNmgwR— Harjinder Singh Kukreja (@SinghLions) May 16, 2019
@gucci @Nordstrom Dastar/“Sikh turban” comes w/ great responsibility. Sikhs were boiled alive & cut limb by limb for tying it. Post 9/11- bullied & murdered. Sikhi is accessible not luxurious. $5 for the cloth we die(d) for. #culturalappropriation at the expense of #Sikhgenocide pic.twitter.com/NbPXvWlEEt— Jasjit Singh (@JasjitSDhanoa) May 14, 2019
The turban is not just an accessory to monetize; it's a religious article of faith that millions of Sikhs view as sacred. Many find this cultural appropriation inappropriate, since those wearing the turban just for fashion will not appreciate its deep religious significance. pic.twitter.com/fldmxa3Wvr— Sikh Coalition (@sikh_coalition) May 14, 2019
This is beyond aggravating. Did someone at @gucci even bother to figure out what a dastaar (turban) means to Sikhs? Did it cross your minds to consider the history behind our identity? My people are discriminated against, even killed, for wearing a turban. pic.twitter.com/G62edSmjhf— Aasees Kaur (@SouthernSikh) May 14, 2019
One of the reasons Sikhs wear turbans is to promote equality. It is insulting to first simplify our religion into a fashion accessory and secondly sell it for hundreds of dollars. The wrap of the turban is done in Sikhi style, this is not cultural but #ReligiousAppropriation.— Kash Singh (@kash_education) May 15, 2019
Does anyone wanna explain to me why @gucci thought selling a turban for $790 was a good idea? @Nordstrom— Naureen Singh (@Naureenksingh) May 14, 2019
This isn't a "trademark style." This is not some "fashion accessory."
This is just very-off. pic.twitter.com/hVBIVvb9Ic
Nordstrom have now pulled the turban from their website and apologised.
We have decided to stop carrying this product and have removed it from the site. It was never our intent to disrespect this religious and cultural symbol. We sincerely apologize to anyone who may have been offended by this.— Nordstrom (@Nordstrom) May 16, 2019