There is a consensus that fashion’s days of tokenism need to be left in the past. Representation and a celebration of diversity are the only forward, and Burberry Children’s Autumn-Winter ’22 collection won the Internet for this very reason, as its corresponding campaign went live on Instagram last evening. The reason? The British heritage brand’s choice of casting four-year-old Sahib Singh, making him the first model to be wearing a patka — the turban worn by boys in the Sikh community, before they graduate to the pagri — in the iconic label’s official imagery.
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The collection of back-to-school designs sees London-based Singh — who is signed with agency South Coast Kidz — striking worn a pose in a Thomas Burberry Bear puffer jacket over a cardigan and shorts. “Sahib had an incredible day with the Burberry team, who really looked after all the children they were shooting with. To see our son, who does look different from his peers, being given a chance by the iconic British brand was truly a milestone moment,” the child model’s mother Harjot Kaur, who also runs his Instagram account, told Vogue India this morning. In just a few hours since it was posted online, the image has been the subject of multiple shares, with an outpouring of support and comments from members of the South Asian community. “The feedback has been beyond heartening. We are still trying to comprehend how big this has gotten! The South Asian community has pulled out all the stops to shower love on our little Singh,” adds his father, Ranjeet Singh. This positive response isn’t just about one image, but what it represents, and the message it sends out. One that is about revelling in the differences that make us unique, and owning where we come from. “We want not just Sahib but all the boys in our community to be proud of their heritage, and wear their patkas and paghs with pride and confidence,” adds Kaur.