Trendy Singh first in Calgary to make printed dastars


A dastar is a piece of religious Sikh headgear

Jenn Nguyen (left) designed prints for Dastars (the main fabric portion of a Sikh turban), like the one worn by her friend Gurpreet Kharey.  Jennifer Friesen / For Metro  Jenn Nguyen (left) designed prints for Dastars (the main fabric portion of a Sikh turban), like the one worn by her friend Gurpreet Kharey.Jennifer Friesen / For Metro

Nguyen (left) designed prints for Dastars (the main fabric portion of a Sikh turban), like the one worn by her friend Gurpreet Kharey.

 

Calgary’s Sikh community is having a very fashion forward moment – the city’s first custom dastar company has officially launched.

A dastar, also known as a pagg, is mostly commonly referred to in English as a turban. It’s an important item in Sikh culture – as per the teachings of the religion, many men and women do not cut their hair, and wear a dastar to cover their heads and hold their hair in place.

Typically you see them in solid colours, but Trendy Singh founder, Nguyen has created options like camo, floral and static to make the cultural artifacts pop as pieces of fashion.

Jennifer Friesen / For MetroJennifer Friesen / For Metro

Okay, the obvious first question is how did Nguyen, a Vietnamese-Canadian, get involved with such an important part of Sikh culture?

As she tells it, her journey began some time ago when a close friend passed away. In her grief, a few friends took her to the Gurdwara, which is the Sikh temple.

“I just felt a huge sense of comfort,” she said. “From there I got involved with the Sikh youth group, met a bunch of people, and it’s become a part of my life.”

She stresses that Trendy Singh is a collaboration, from their photographer Anoop Brar to countless Sikh youth who have modelled and given their input on he prints.

Courtesy Anoop Brar Courtesy Anoop Brar

“We’ve gotten really positive feedback, and I think it’s because it’s attached to a social aspect,” she said. “We’re all trying to do better, put out more Seva – not just make a business for profit.”

Seva is a tenant of Sikhism meaning selfless service – essentially giving back to the community. With that in mind, all Trendy Singh profits go to help Sikh non-profit organizations like Khalsa Aid and Nanak Naam.

Nguyen said Trendy Singh is more of a social enterprise, to help a community that once helped her, and – of course – to add a bit of vibrancy to the dastar, for those who want it.

For more information, visit www.trendysingh.com.