Not too long ago Gucci faced quite a backlash with their “wool balaclava jumper” which featured red lips on blackface. Despite actions taken and assurance given by CEO Marco Bizzarri to prevent from another culturally offensive item surfacing in their collection, the brand is yet again facing another backlash which revolves around cultural insensitivity on social media.
Gucci’s “indy full turban” landed on Nordstrom’s website earlier this week for mere $790. Soon after the retailer announced that it had pulled the item from its site. The announcement was a direct response to Twitter user Naureen Singh, who asked: “Does anyone wanna explain to me why @gucci thought selling a turban for $790 was a good idea? @Nordstrom This isn’t a ‘trademark style.’ This is not some ‘fashion accessory.’ This is just very-off.”
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.— Nordstrom (@Nordstrom) May 16, 2019
“We have decided to stop carrying this product and have removed it from the site,” Nordstrom replied. “It was never our intent to disrespect this religious and cultural symbol. We sincerely apologize to anyone who may have been offended by this.“
Item was shortly renamed to “full head wrap” and listed as “sold out” at Nordstrom, it hasn’t stopped people from expressing their opinion. “Dear @gucci, the Sikh Turban is not a hot new accessory for white models but an article of faith for practising Sikhs,” wrote Harjinder Singh Kukreja, a Sikh restaurateur and a philanthropist who has a massive following of 1.6 million followers on Twitter. “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.”
Gucci struggles with understanding the need for change with its collections, continuously touching on religious representation. In the wake of the controversies, Gucci announced an external Changemarkers Council followed by an internal program which is due to support inclusion and diversity of its brand. Hopefully we can expect some positive change going forward as the issues in fashion industry continue to surface, day in day out.