Members of the Sikh community are speaking out against Gucci for attempting to profit off of turbans.
The fashion brand debuted its turbans back in February 2018, with the product being modeled by white models. The turban recently went viral after it was discovered selling for nearly $800 at Nordstrom. It has since been removed from the retailer’s site following uproar over the brand’s cultural appropriation of a religious item.
Many pointed out how the turban is not a “hot new accessory,” but rather a meaningful article of clothing that holds deep significance.
The Sikh Coalition told HuffPost in a statement that the group had reached out to both Nordstrom and Gucci following the massive backlash. Along with removing the turbans from its site, Nordstrom has promised to stop selling the product online and in stores. The group said the retailer had “offered their sincere apologies.”
The turban is an “integral article for Sikhs,” and the religious group has had to fight for their right to wear it, said Kiran Kaur Gill, executive director of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Just Saturday, Gurvinder Grewal, who’s Sikh, was not allowed in a bar in Long Island, New York, because of his turban.
“Sikhs in India and in the diaspora globally have faced discrimination and persecution due to their religiously mandated Turban,” Gill said over email. “These obstacles are real and affect Sikhs across the world in their daily life.”
Gill added that by commodifying the turban, the fashion house had “reduced a religiously mandated article of faith into a fashion accessory and utilitarian piece of clothing.”
The Sikh Coalition said in a statement that while Nordstrom has recognized the issue, it hopes that Gucci can do the same and follow suit.