Sikhs say Nordstrom apologized for the turban, waiting for Gucci

FILE – In this Feb. 21, 2018 file photo, models items of Gucci’s women’s Fall/Winter 2018-2019 collection, presented during the Milan Fashion Week in Milan, Italy. The top civil rights organization for the Sikhs in the United States, says Nordstrom has apologized to the community for selling a $800 turban they found offensive, but they are still waiting to hear from the Gucci brand, designed, Saturday, May 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, File)

PHOENIX – Nordstrom has apologized to the Sikhs for the sell of a turban they found offensive, but a representative of the AMERICAN community, top civil rights organization said Saturday they are still waiting to hear from the Gucci brand.

“We feel that companies are commodifying and take advantage of something that is dear and sacred to people all over the world,” said Simran Jeet Singh, a senior fellow at the New York-based Sikh Coalition, which said that the turban has a deep religious meaning for the men of his faith.

“And there is excitement about the fact that the article of our faith is the focus of so much hatred and violence and bullying,” he said, recalling that the Sikhs wearing turbans have been attacked in hate crimes, including a man killed in near Phoenix, a few days after 9/11.

The current complaint springs from a Gucci head wrap that up to and including Wednesday was advertised on Nordstrom’s website for $790 as the “Indy Full Turban.” The description said: “blessed are made turban is ready to turn heads while you both comfort and trademark style.”

The Nordstrom web site on Saturday, another reference to a Gucci “head wrap,” but it was listed as sold out and it was no longer depicted.

“We have decided to stop carrying this product and have removed it from the site. It was never our intention to disrespect this cultural and religious symbol. We offer our apologies to anyone who may be offended by this,” the department said in a tweet.

Gucci ‘ s turban was first talked about last winter, when a white model walked the runway wearing during a fashion show.

Gucci had not responded to the criticism about the product and Saturday. E-mails seeking comment sent to Gucci by the pr representatives and a corporate fashion services website.

“If companies have the right articles of faith, they do not take into account the discrimination Sikhs face, while the observance of the principles of their faith. We appreciate @Nordstrom’s recognition of this issue and apology; we hope @Gucci will follow,” the Sikh coalition said in a Thursday tweet.

The coalition was formed after Balbir Singh Sodhi, a bearded Sikh American to wear a turban, was shot and killed on Sept. 15, 2001, in the suburb of Phoenix Mesa when he was mistaken for an Arab Muslim.

Frank Roque, 42, was quoted in a report: “all Arabs had to be shot” and he wanted to “slit some Iranians’ throats.” Roque is serving a life sentence in prison for first-degree murder.

In another attack on the community, a white supremacist opened fire in a Wisconsin Sikh temple in 2012, killing six people and wounding five others before killing himself.

Sikhs in the United States and around the world have taken to social media to lambaste Gucci, including Taran Parmar, a radio journalist for News 1130 in Vancouver, Canada.

“Seriously @Nordstrom @gucci ?” she wrote. “The turban is one of the most important and symbolic articles of faith for the Sikhs, and you’re selling it as a fashion accessory to earn money? This is not the first time you come under fire for cultural appropriation. Do better.”

Gucci in recent months has struggled with the complaints of the black community in the U.S. more than a sweater people find offensive.

Gucci President and CEO Marco Bizzarri this month participated in a Gucci-sponsored event in New York Harlem in addition to a recent fashion show in London-based black designer Ozwald boateng at the Apollo Theatre on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance.

In February, the brand apologized and removed from the online and physical stores a turtleneck black wool balaclava pullover that can be pulled over the chin and the nose. It consisted of a slit along the mouth, ringed with what look like giant red lips and called blackface for a lot of people.

Also in February, Katy Perry’s fashion line can be drawn two types of shoes, with bulging eyes, a nose and red lips that critics compared to blackface. The singer and company said that they were sad was compared with the blackface and said that the designs were previously set up as a nod to the “modern art and surrealism.”


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