Turban is Not a hat-it’s sacred–Rajvatan Singh-Sikh Model speaks on BBC World
International brand, Gucci has been accused of cultural appropriation after some of its white, male models wore turbans on the catwalk at Milan Fashion week
Speaking on BBC Minute on Cultural appropriation, Rajvatan Singh, the first Sikh model in UK responded to Gucci’s Fall Collection and said that, “Yes about Gucci’s collection, in terms of fashioning the turban, in the Milan Fashion Week, there shouldn’t be any boundaries in terms of who should be wearing the turban, that’s one thing I want to make clear, but how it’s worn, the significance and the history behind the turban, that should definitely be displayed as well. That’s where Gucci didn’t do well. They could’ve even hired someone to tie it properly, like I said anyone can wear a turban, but if you’re going to wear it then the meaning of wearing a turban should be depicted too. For example, there’s a term in Punjabi – ‘Sardar’, which refers to a leader of a community, which is why our 10th Guru made everyone a Sardar so every person in the community is a leader of their own.
BBC further asked that “So just to sort of reiterate, it wasn’t inappropriate that they were wearing the turban but the fact that they didn’t explain? Rajvatan replied that, “One is that, and another thing was the way it was worn, they were worn as hats, now turbans are not hats, they are very sacred there’s a lot of cultural and religious background to it. It’s nothing but lack of education, so anyone who’d see that they’d consider as a hat, this is where Gucci missed out .
BBC finally questioned, “Should companies able to give Turban a price tag? Rajvatan Singh said that, “For me turban doesn’t really have a price, it is worth a lot more, it’s worth a lot of sacrifice, it’s worth a lot of history and to give it a price-tag, I don’t think it should be even sold as a ready-made turban, which is again the whole matter of treating turban like a hat. Also, even the people who tie turban they’re not meant to just lift it and place, you’re technically supposed to untie it layer by layer, due to the respect which a turban supposed to hold.”