Indian and international Sikhs criticise Gucci for $790 turban

Gucci and the US luxury department store chain Nordstrom have received backlash again from the Indian and international Sikh community for retailing an “Indy Full Turban” for $790 (Rs 55,469) online.

Harjinder Singh Kukreja’s Twitter post concerning the recent re-emergence of the Gucci turban controversy

Gucci’s “Indy” turban had already caused uproar when it debuted on the runway in February 2018 as part of the brand’s Fall 2018 collection, worn by white models and paired with eclectic outfits. The controversy resurfaced when the turban was recently spotted for sale on Nordstrom’s e-commerce site. The fact that the luxury brand is retailing an item that can hold high religious significance at a luxury price has caused many to speak out online. 

One Indian Sikh, Ludhiana-based restauranteur and social activist Harjinder Singh Kukreja, wrote to his over 1.5 million Twitter followers: “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.”

The Sikh Coalition told HuffPost in a statement that the group had shared its feelings about the turban with both Gucci and with Nordstrom. The US-based Sikh group also highlighted that many US citizens still face prejudice for wearing turbans and so the Gucci turban disregards the Sikh community and the struggles it can face.

Nordstrom responded to the backlash by removing the turban from its online store and issuing a public apology. "We have decided to stop carrying this product and have removed it from the site,” wrote the business on Twitter. “It was never our intent to disrespect this religious and cultural symbol. We sincerely apologise to anyone who may have been offended by this."

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