Many religions and cultures across the world have distinct characteristics, and the people following them are often protective and sensitive about it. What’s more, they also have certain customary symbols that have become their identity over the years — such as the Jesus cross for Christianity, taqiya cap for Islam or the turban for the Sikh culture. While the turban is worn as a headgear by many men and women in various countries, its recent use as a fashion accessory by Gucci started a debate among the Sikh community.
The brand’s Fall 2018 collection at the Milan Fashion Week featured models wearing turbans, and it upset many people on social media. Taking to Twitter, Harjinder Singh Kukreja slammed the brand for not respecting the turban and stated that it is not “a hot new accessory”. In the tweet, he wrote, “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.” IndianExpress.com got in touch with Kukreja, and is awaiting his reply.
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/gCzKPd9LGd
— Harjinder Singh Kukreja (@SinghLions) February 22, 2018
Soon after, many people on social media joined the debate with a string of tweets about the use of turban for the fashion show. While some agreed with Kukreja, others felt that the turban is not just related to the Sikh community. Moreover, some even stated the brand had not disrespected the customary headgear in any way. Here are some of the comments that followed the tweet.
Dear Sir, in America we have freedom to wear what we choose. While we may practice religion of our choice we are not an overly religious country. Many wear crosses for fashion, not religion. Turbans to dry wet hair, scarves for wind, and so on. #AmericaTheFree♥🇺🇸
— Mary (@onemarymarks) February 22, 2018
I’m not a practising Sikh, but that kind of nonsense annoys me. Its an important way of life for millions, it shouldn’t be reduced to an accessory on a runway. Same goes for the cross, the hijab and many other things.
— Juvefc.com (@juvefcdotcom) February 22, 2018
I can’t understand your logic… You have turban days in New York and proudly create awareness of Sikh turban by tying turbans. What is wrong with models wearing it. I think they are sporting it in good spirit. @gucci please ignore this guy
— MS (@thewrysingh) February 22, 2018
And moreover we have no patent on this. The best part is that they are wearing it respectfully. So let us continue on our ways and let them advertise this.
— Harpreet S Ubhi (@harpreetsubhi) February 22, 2018
A turban is not exclusively worn for Sikhs, never has been, this argument has no bases & is ignorant & stereotypical. Nice fashion move on #Gucci FYI: “white ppl” been wearing scarfs look at those old 60-70s movies where have you been. Fashion revolves in circles.
— Bashir Folsom (@bashir_folsom) February 22, 2018
Maybe it was meant to be more of a headwrap? I wear head wraps like this often in a non-religious way as do many cultures. pic.twitter.com/OQsD05KVCu
— elle onyx (@elle_onyx) February 22, 2018
I’m not a Sikh but I can see how disrespectful this is- why can’t you?
— Liza Bec (@LizaBecMusic) February 22, 2018
exactly it’s not a real turban… but a hat and has been used in fashion for years. nobody is pretending or trying to be a sikh by wearing one. if they were then yeah that would be a problem.
— R (@epiphanyattack) February 23, 2018
What are your thoughts? Tell us in the comments below.