Fashion giant Gucci’s latest collection of Kaftans has become a subject of shock and outrage from Indian social media users claiming they are a costlier version of “Kurtas”, a regular attire worn across South Asia.
The Italian fashion house presented its collection of floral kaftans for an exorbitant price range of £1481-2,468. But many pointed out that the designs are so commonly worn in South Asia that similar items are also available for £5 pounds or less in local markets.
Gucci had great things to say about their latest line.
“Crafted from organic linen, this kaftan is enriched with floral embroidery and self-tile tassels.” the company in its description said. “Unexpected layering with tracksuit pieces defines a whole new way to interpret the garment, giving it a surprising twist,” the description read.
The description for the silk kaftan reads, “Filled with ‘60s and ‘70s influences, the kaftan reinterprets the aesthetic of the hippie movement with a new take on relaxed garments in light fabrics. For this new iteration, the emblematic interlocking G motif mixes with a stripe chain print elevating the ivory silk fabric.”
Kaftans, a variant of a robe or tunic of Asiatic origin - were first introduced as part of Gucci’s range in 1996. The company said it “continues to be an integral part of the House aesthetic while evolving in new materials and modern details”.
However, despite the fancy description, for South Asians at least, the similarities between what Gucci was launching and the kurtas they buy with traditional necklines and patterns of embroidery for a meagre cost, was way too obvious.
“Gucci selling an Indian kurta for 2.5 lakhs? I’ll get the same thing for 500 bucks,” wrote one Twitter user, sharing two photos of the ivory-coloured kaftan.
Another user compared the pricing with that of affordable cars in India. “You can buy maruti alto or a Gucci kurta in same price!”
“I’m not giving more than 200 for this sh*t I have like 10 of these wtf,” another user wrote.
“Gucci be selling this kurta for C$ 4,550 and I am like …. Who is shelling out that kind of $$$ for a kurta that ammi bought me from Murree’s Mall Road for 300 rupees,” writer Tazeen wrote.
Another Twitter user wrote: “Gucci sweetie I will buy you this exact same kurta from Sarojini market in less than $5.”
Gucci has previously received a backlash from Indian Twitter for cultural appropriation when it launched its “Indy Full Turban” priced at £551.