Nordstrom removes $790 Gucci 'Indy Turban' that looks identical to Sikh headwear

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Next: a Buddhist fashion designer makes a beaded necklace with a little “t”-shaped pendant just like the ones that are so popular among Italian grandmothers.


Hmmm - I figured they were trying to tap into Nick Cannon’s style.


Probably has something to do with “Notes on Camp”.

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I hate to point it out, but turbans were in fashion back in the 1940s… I guess it wasn’t any less culturally insensitive back then…


It was a comeback from when they were popular in the 20s, and it was more explicitly orientalist the first time.


My grandma had a terry cloth one for when her hair was wet out of the shower. Which is what I think of when I see Nick Cannon.


Thank god we now have twitter to keep these insensitivities in line.


I’m guessing this is as offensive to Sikhs as using a colander to drain spaghetti is to a Pastafarian.


One person’s cultural appropriation is another person’s cultural mixing.

I mean, I don’t think Boing Boing would care as much for a Christian who was just as upset about the use of the Christian cross in, say, Neon Genesis Evangelion.


I’m torn about this.

First of all, I’m always ready to dispute anyone’s belief in the magical sky being if asked, but I also just want everyone to get along, and so recognize that mocking someone’s belief to their face isn’t helpful.

Then there’s the problem of a hairstyle or piece of clothing being linked to a specific religion-- lots of non-Sikhs wear turbans, lots of non-Rastas have dreads (even ignoring white people)-- folks are going to wear what they want to wear, and I won’t let myself be too upset about fashion trends.

Plus, if this takes off does that really diminish the values Sikhs hold dear? Or does it help normalize Sikhs in the west? Can it be both? If the real offense is a company making money off religious wear, then what about the companies that already sell turbans to Sikhs now?


Sikhism is relatively recent (15th century). The Prophet Mohammed is known to have worn a turban (7th century), at which time it had already been a common form of headwear for centuries (eg, the Jewish mitznefet was a similar wrapped headdress).

I couldn’t find a picture of Mohammed, but here’s Sam the Sham:


I was going to make a joke about how Gucci will probably do a fashion hijab next… They already do…



The Gucci hat is bad. It seems like the high design houses right now are trying to explore the edges of racism and appropriation; and not in a strictly speaking negative light. In some ways, I guess the fashion houses are trying to lead the discussion on these topics, although not in a way that I’d like them to be. In some ways, I think they are trying to elicit strong negative emotions to rile the pot a bit; which is one of the jobs of the artist.

This is an artless rip that they made almost for the spectacle; although one wonders if there would be a market for pre-tied Turbans like there is for clip-on ties. While this is an odd stretch for Gucci, lets face it: a lot of Sikh people are wealthy and the brand carries a lot of cachet in the South Asian region. (Well, at least it used to.)


This is a very specific style of turban though. Sikhs aren’t claiming all commercially-sold turbans are an appropriation of their religious garb any more than Catholics would claim all necklaces are an appropriation of the Rosary.




Islamic couture is experiencing a boom these days so I’m not at all surprised.


Yes, the market for couture hijabs are Muslim women of means, not non-Muslim westerners.


It took me stepping away for a bit to realize…

Guys, we may be being somewhat structurally racist here without meaning to be. We are assuming that Gucci is making this product for us. We are completely and utterly blind to the concept that this product line may be completely and utterly not for us at all. It may be completely aimed at Sikhs.

Yes, they had thin, white, tiny models wearing them. Like all of their other clothing. But the entire point of a fashion show and model walk like this is to ignore the models and focus on the clothes.

I would imagine that the primary purchasers of the Gucci Hijabs… are Islamic women.

I would imagine that most of the people who want to buy a Sikh Turban to wear… would be Sikh.


Yup (which was was the point I was clumsily trying to make – the hijab is filling a market niche, while the Sikh-style turban is trying to create a niche through poorly done cultural appropriation).

As actual Sikh have said in the Twitter replies in the OP, the Sikh dastar is a wrap, not a hat.