By Betty Yu

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Turbans first hit the Gucci runway last year, but the luxury Italian fashion house is now facing backlash from people who call it culturally insensitive.

“I think it’s not okay for people of different cultures to appropriate that they don’t understand, especially when it’s known as a religious symbol,” said Caroline Smith, a tourist from Portland.
 
Those in the Sikh community in particular found it offensive. The community has been the target of bullying and discrimination because of the turban.
 
“Whatever Gucci is selling is not a Sikh turban, it is sort of a form of a cap and to Sikhs, the turban is an integral part of the Sikh community,” said Sikh Community Activist Kashmir Singh Shahi.
 
Union City resident and Sikh community activist Shahi applauds Nordstrom for no longer selling it on its website.
 
In a response to a complaint on Twitter, the department store said “It was never our intent to disrespect this religious and cultural symbol. We sincerely apologize to anyone who may have been offended by this.”

Berkeley resident Talat Aleem thinks Gucci should apologize.

“This is not the first time they’ve had a racist encounter too you know, even recently,” he added.
 
Three months ago, Gucci apologized and discontinued selling a sweater after social media users said it resembled blackface because of the design. The turtleneck sweater pulls up over the bottom half of the face.
 
Gucci has not addressed the matter.

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