18.5.19

People are angry with Gucci over $800 ‘Indy Turban’ and they’re calling it cultural appropriation.

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.
One turban, in particular, a $790 royal blue piece from the brand's Fall 2018 collection has caught the attention of Twitter users both for its high price and the fact that it even exists at all.On Thursday morning, Nordstrom announced that it was pulling the turban from its website and stores, and apologized to those who were offended. The turban in question and several other versions of it in different colours actually debuted on the runway in February 2018. They certainly earned some negative attention at the time, but it doesn't seem to have made an impact on the design house's production decisions. But now members of the Sikh community have zeroed in once again on the turbans after Twitter users posted screenshots of its available on Nordstrom's website. Several wrote that the item was insensitive, offensive, and 'gross.' 'The turban is not just an accessory to monetize; it's a religious article of faith that millions of Sikhs view as sacred,' wrote the Sikh Coalition. 'Many find this cultural appropriation inappropriate since those wearing the turban just for fashion will not appreciate its deep religious significance.
Bringing attention: The Sikh Coalition and others called out both Gucci and Nordstrom for offering the item
''I would be into this if it was a way to encourage diversity and access nonwestern clothing (I know guys who wear pre-wrapped turbans so this would be cool for them) but the marketing around this shows otherwise. This is a cash grab, and it’s gross,' wrote another.' The nerve to call it Indy,' pointed out yet another. Harjinder Singh Kukreja explained just why he and others were so upset by the item.' 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.' 'This is beyond aggravating,' said yet another. '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.' And one more chimed in: 'Dastar/“Sikh turban” comes w/ great responsibility. Sikhs were boiled alive & cut limb by limb for trying it. Post 9/11- bullied & murdered. Sikhi is accessible, not luxurious. $5 for the cloth we die(d) for. #culturalappropriation at the expense of #Sikhgenocide'.' Seriously @Nordstrom @gucci?' asked yet another. 'The turban is one of the most important and symbolic articles of faith for Sikhs, and you’re selling it as a fashion accessory to make money? This isn’t the first time you’ve come under fire for cultural appropriation. Do better.' While Gucci has yet to comment on the controversy, Nordstrom has weighed in, tweeting an apology and announcing that it would no longer sell the turban.' We have decided to stop carrying this product and have removed it from the site. It was never our intent to disrespect this religious and cultural symbol. We sincerely apologize to anyone who may have been offended by this,' they wrote. Meanwhile, Saks sells a nearly identical item with a different pattern, but calls it a 'Gold Jacquard Floral Headband.' The turban backlash has grown larger since February 2018, when the turbans first hit the catwalk. At the time, actor Avan Jogia shared his disappointment with creative director Alessandro Michele's designs.' This isn't a good look for you. 
Wording: Saks sells a nearly identical item with a different pattern, but calls it a 'Gold Jacquard Floral Headband'
Could you not find a brown model? .' the television star, who was born Chutkara Patel Jogia and has roots in Hinduism and Buddhism, fumed. Avan's followers responded to his tweet saying Gucci had 'hit a new low' and that it was 'offensive and irresponsible' of the brand. One woman, who described herself as a practising Sikh, said: 'My blood is boiling right now. As a Sikh, I see this as a huge sign of disrespect and disregard towards Sikhism. 'It isn’t hard to educate yourself on the significance of a turban. This isn’t a mere fashion accessory! Thank you, Avan for speaking out on this.' Another angry person said: 'This is unacceptable and offensive Gucci. Wearing another religions article of faith is not fashion, its appropriation!.' Sikh men are profiled and discriminated against every day for wearing a turban, yet when you put in on a white person, it’s suddenly fashionable and cool?!?!'.Interestingly enough, the turbans are the only accessory to come out of this particular collection that offended people. This collection also turned out a series of colourful balaclavas, including one that critics have said resembles blackface. The $890 balaclava and sweater was the subject of quite an uproar, with many social media users saying the black fabric and exaggerated black lips were offensive.' THIIIIIIIS is blackface guys. THIS. huge overdramatic red lips and a literal BLACK face. This is DISGUSTING. I don't wanna see any of you with Gucci belts and slides after this,' wrote one. 'WTF @gucci?!!?!?!? Haute Couture Blackface for the millennials???. 'If you think this was an "oversight" you're sadly mistaken,' said another user. 'Brands do s**t like this all the time. They give a tired a*s apology then we continue to wear their clothes. Do you REALLY think not one person employed at Gucci saw this top and didn't automatically think "blackface" FOH.' Gucci has since apologized, telling DailyMail.com in a statement: 'Gucci deeply apologizes for the offence caused by the wool balaclava jumper.' We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected, and at the forefront of every decision we make.'
 

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