On Monday morning, Sikh actor, jewelry designer and fashion party fixture Waris Ahluwalia posted a photo to his relatively new Instagram account to share news that he had been prevented from boarding an Aeroméxico flight departing from Mexico City because he wears a turban, as is customary of Sikh men.
The 2009 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist captioned his post with the hashtags #FearisanOpportunitytoEducate, #humanrights, #dignity and #lovenotfear.
The fashion community had come to his support over the course of the day. Thakoon Panichgul and Bibhu Mohapatra took to Instagram and Facebook, respectively, to send messages of support. The CFDA tweeted “Very upsetting to read! Get home safe,” and the association’s president Steven Kolb posted about the incident on Facebook.
Four hours after his original post, Ahluwalia shared a second photo from Mexico City International Airport, captioned “Dear NYC fashion week. I may be a little late as Aeroméxico won’t let me fly with a turban. Don’t start the show without me.” NYFW kicks off on Thursday, Feb. 11.
In addition to his fashion work, Ahluwalia also has a career as an actor, having appeared in Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.”
By end of day on Monday, Ahluwalia was still in Mexico. “Update. 13 hours later. Still in Mexico City. No traveler should be subjected to what I was today,” he wrote in another post. “All we’re asking for from Aeroméxico is an apology and education/training of the staff.”
Early this morning, the airline apologized to Waris on Twitter for his “bad experience.”