For their Fall 2018 show at Milan Fashion Week Gucci sent models down the runway in headgear that closely resembled the specific turbans worn by Sikh men. It was unquestionably a gaffe for the fashion house, who seemed to have ignored the fact that the turban is a religious item for the Sikh community and that Sikhs outside India are frequently the targets of bullying and racist remarks because they sport this visible symbol of their religious beliefs.
Canadian actor and model Avan Jogia was among those who called out Gucci for their choice and was joined by many others including the New York-based Sikh Coalition. Gucci could have easily showcased some Sikh men sporting turbans on their runway. Waris Ahluwalia, in particular, has been a mainstay in the international fashion scene for years.
It is hard to believe that fashion houses of Gucci’s stature are still committing blunders like these, even in the present day when conversations about cultural appropriation are almost a daily practice. Hopefully, the brand will learn and do better next time!