Gucci has been accused of cultural appropriation for selling a £600 turban at luxury department store Nordstrom. The garment, which Gucci refers to as an “Indy Full Turban”, first stoked criticism in February 2018 when it debuted at the Italian fashion house’s autumn/winter show. Now, after shoppers spotted the product being sold online, the controversy has been ignited once more.
The headpiece, which is now sold out on Nordstrom’s website, was listed as costing $790 (£615) and described as a “gorgeously crafted turban” that will “turn heads while keeping you in comfort as well as trademark style”.
On Twitter, numerous people expressed their concerns over the headpiece, particularly in terms of the brand and its customers not appreciating the turban’s deep religious significance.
Also known as a dastaar, the turban is a headpiece worn by the Sikh community (but may be used by other groups) as an article of faith and carries an immense spiritual and temporal significance. Traditionally in Sikhism, a turban is worn by both men and women as a symbol of piety, honour and spirituality
It is because of this that many critics called out both Gucci and Nordstrom for using the religious article to “fill their pockets”.
The New York-based Sikh Coalition also condemned the high-fashion brand on Twitter, writing: “The Sikh turban is not just a fashion accessory, but it’s also a sacred religious article of faith.
Others pointed out that the product was particularly offensive because Sikhs often face criticism and even violence for wearing a turban in western spaces.
As a result of the backlash, Gucci issued a public apology “for the offence” caused and removed the item from its stores and website. “We can confirm that the item has been immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores,” the company said in a statement.
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