Hamburg, Germany: In a first of its kind, a turbaned Sikh American Sonny Caberwal has become the international face of the prestigious German men’s magazine GQ.
Turbans, even if worn as symbol of Sikh religion Sikhism. Sonny, 30-year-old Sikh has been featured in GQ’s style Germany Spring Summer-2009.
He will go down as a “footnote in history for being a stereotype buster,” the newspaper the Mail Today noted Thursday. “It’s not about me, but about Sikh identity and about our culture and traditions being shown in a positive light to people around the world,” the Mail Today quoted Caberwal as saying in Mumbai.
Caberwal has received hundreds of comments and e-mails from people around the world telling him how proud they were to see their own identity being represented positively.
Caberwal’s portfolio was shot in Hamburg, Germany, in January.
Conde Nast, the publishers of CQ discovered Caberwal after he appeared in 25th anniversary ad of leading American fashion house Kenneth Cole in 2008.
The GQ collection was for formal wear but they thought using turbaned Sikh would be cool, Caberwal told Mail Today.
Although he has been lucky in modeling world, Caberwal says there are still some challenges for turbaned model to gain mainstream attention.
On the positive side, he says there is definite place for unique and interesting looks, and in the western world, the turbaned look falls in that category.
Among the Sikhs, the turban is an article of faith that represents honor, self-respect, courage, spirituality, and piety.
The Sikhs wear the turban partly to cover their long, uncut hair. The turban is mostly identified with the Sikh males, although some Sikh women also wear turban. The Sikhs regard the turban as an important part of the unique Sikh identity.
The turban has been an important part of the Sikh culture since the time of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. The Sikh warriors, the Khalsa, wear turban, partly to cover their long hair, which is never cut, according to the wish of their last human Guruu, Guru Gobind Singh.