Gucci faces backlash for selling Sikh turban for $800

Gucci and Nordstrom are facing backlash for selling a Sikh turban for almost $800.

Named “Indy Full Turban,” the headpiece was described on Nordstrom’s site as “a gorgeously crafted turban” that’s “ready to turn heads while keeping you in comfort as well as trademark style.”

There are layers of issues with Gucci’s product—from it being sold at an obnoxiously high price, to fetishizing a religious symbol, to neglecting the hate the Sikh community often faces for wearing the attire. 

The Sikh community faces nonstop discrimination in the U.S. In 2012, a white supremacist walked into a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and killed seven worshippers in one of the gravest hate crimes against Sikhs in the country.

Many Sikhs, who wear the turban, continue to be othered, which is why the commodification of the turban, which is used by hate mongers to identify Sikhs, is especially offensive to the community.

Nordstrom tweeted an apology early Thursday: “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.”

Gucci, meanwhile, has yet to respond.

But it doesn’t change the fact that Gucci previously ignored similar complaints after putting turbans on white models at the 2018 Milan Fashion Week. The company also faced severe backlash in February over a “blackface” sweater.

The turban was listed as “sold out” on Nordstrom’s website as of Thursday morning.

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Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque