Gucci is under fire once again for a controversial article of clothing.
Gucci is facing backlash from Sikhs on social media for selling several pricey designer turbans, which critics say make light of the garment’s religious importance and appropriate culture.
Just three months after facing intense backlash over a sweater that sparked accusations of racism, the Italian fashion house is being slammed for selling an “Indy Full Turban” that resembles the religiously significant Sikh headdress.
The turban first caused an uproar after it was seen on a white male model at the luxury brand’s Milan Fashion Week Show last winter.
Many Twitter users criticized Gucci for not using a “brown model.”
The backlash later intensified this week after it was revealed that Nordstrom was selling the piece for nearly $800, describing it as a “gorgeously crafted turban” that “is ready to turn heads while keeping you in comfort as well as trademark style.”
“This 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,” one user tweeted Tuesday.
“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,” another user expressed.
On Thursday morning, Nordstrom announced that it was pulling the turban from its website and stores, and apologized to those who were offended.
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
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
We’re attacked and killed for how we look, and now corporations get to profit off that same look?
Feels wrong to me. Your thoughts? https://t.co/Em9UELbkTB
— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) May 15, 2019
Thank you @Nordstrom for stopping the sale of this “turban” !
If there is anything I can do for you I will be very happy to do so.
— ravinder singh (@RaviSinghKA) May 16, 2019
This isn’t a “trademark style.” This is not some “fashion accessory.”
This is just very-off. pic.twitter.com/hVBIVvb9Ic
— Naureen Singh (@Naureenksingh) May 14, 2019
The turban in question — and several other versions of it in different colors — actually debuted on the runway in February 2018.
Among the Sikhs, the dastaar or turban is an article of faith that represents honor, self-respect, courage, spirituality and piety.
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion (the belief in one god) that originated in the Punjab region in the northern part of India.
“Wow. @Gucci and @Nordstrom are selling turbans as fashion items. We’re attacked and killed for how we look, and now corporations get to profit off the same look? Feels wrong to me,” another user wrote.
The company also announced plans to step up diversity hiring as a part of a long-term promise to promote awareness within the brand.
“We accept full accountability for this incident, which has exposed shortfalls in our ongoing strategic approach to embedding diversity and inclusion in both our organization and in our activities,” the statement said, adding, “I am particularly grateful to Dapper Dan for the role he has played in bringing community leaders together to offer us their counsel at this time,” Gucci president and CEO Marco Bizzarri said in a statement shared on social media.
Dapper Dan, a well-known fashion designer from New York who has collaborated with Gucci in the past, previously announced his plans to meet with the brand in hopes of getting to the bottom of the issue.
Dan, 74, shared an update following the meeting on Instagram writing, “The meeting is over. It’s now time for Gucci to announce how they plan to make amends for what they did. We had some of the best minds from corporate world participating, and experts in inclusivity and accountability — 90% people of color.”
As for what actions will be taking place, Gucci revealed they will be creating “positions within the company whose sole responsibility will be to ensure the company reaches these standards” of hiring diverse talent.
“Gucci is now initiating a search for the newly created role of Global Director for Diversity and Inclusion, based at Gucci America in New York,” the statement said.
The fashion house is also launching a multi-cultural design scholarship program.
“In partnership with fashion schools around the world, this 12-month fast track program will aim to amplify opportunities for underrepresented groups of talents leading to full-time employment to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace on an ongoing basis,” the brand’s statement said.