Cultural appropriation not always a bad thing

Then, a leading fashion house unwittingly lends a hand by placing the turban on the global stage....

The fashion and grievance industries are abuzz about Gucci’s show at Milan Fashion Week last month because Gucci sent a few white models with turbans down the runway. For fashionistas, the unconventional choice seemed consistent with Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele’s tendency to challenge and unsettle. To some Sikhs and others sharing their upset, however, the artistic choice was offensive and disrespectful, particularly in the post-9/11 climate in which Sikhs have been harassed and even killed because of their physical identities, of which the turban is a central component.

As lifelong Sikhs who regularly engage in educational and outreach efforts to promote the positive contributions of Sikhs to American society, we believe Sikhs should welcome the inclusion of the turban in mainstream popular culture. This exposure may help diffuse harmful associations with the turban that in turn have fueled harmful actions against Sikhs....