Gucci Faces Backlash for $800 "Indy Full Turban" Headpiece
Social media users are accusing Gucci of cultural appropriation — months after the Italian fashion house apologized and withdrew a sweater that featured a design that many thought looked like blackface.
Gucci is stoking controversy yet again. Not long after their "Indy Full Turban" — which first debuted at Milan Fashion Week in February 2018 — sold out on Nordstrom's website, the Italian fashion house is facing backlash for appropriating the Sikh headdress as an accessory devoid of any religious significance.
"The Sikh turban is not just a fashion accessory, but it's also a sacred religious article of faith," the New York-based Sikh Coalition tweeted Wednesday. "We hope more can be done to recognize this critical context."
The organization ended their message with this hashtag: "#appropriation."
While the product listing on Nordstrom's website no longer includes price information, screen grabs confirm that it was being sold for $790.
Sikh restaurateur, influencer and philanthropist Harjinder Singh Kukreja — who boasts more than 1.5 million followers on Twitter — explained why Gucci's turban is particularly offensive.
"Dear @gucci, the Sikh Turban is not a hot new accessory for white models but an article of faith for practising Sikhs," he wrote. "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."
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
Earlier this year, Gucci was criticized for its balaclava sweater, a black turtleneck emblazoned with large red lips. After social media lit up with heated responses, comparing the design to blackface, the luxury brand apologized and withdrew the product. The sweater had been selling for $890.
Not long before, Prada faced similar criticism after releasing a $550 monkey keychain that was widely seen as racist imagery.