Inside Iran's Underground Fashion Industry


Global News headlines have been dominated by news out of Iran where a recent US air strike killed. Iran's most senior military leader General Qassem Awesome Sulejmani resulting in growing tensions in the Middle East back at voices. Two thousand nine. We shed some light on. Iran's underground fashioned seen team Iran is a country that we in the West know very little about but over the past few years. I've been receiving messages on instagram from young fashioned creatives. Who have written to me saying that that behind closed doors there is actually a vibrant fashion culture in Iran and they are longing to connect with all of us? It seemed like the perfect topic explore voices. Twenty nine to shed some light on Iran's underground fashion scene. We were honored to introduce four Iranian fashion creatives to share their experiences of their vibrant culture. Holzer with us and also to demystify some of our misconceptions about their country based in Chicago Hoda Khattab is the voice behind the political fashion platform. Juju Jewish and hotel opened our voices session with a powerful talk which explained how Iran's fashion economy has been impacted both by an extreme regime in Iran but also sanctions from the US UK and other Western countries. Hoda was joined by Sharon and chief of Car to self taught fashion designers and co-founders Iranian fashion label car. Who came all the way from Tehran to join us and the brilliant Iran born London based sued goal Sarky founder and editorial director of Tank magazine who interviewed Hoda Sharon and Sheva together? These four challenged our assumptions about aww country that is largely closed off from the West on this week's B. O. F. podcast go inside. Iran's fashion industry and I had this really cute flowery speech. I was excited to give but given what's happening in Iran right now. I think it's only fair to sort of take a setback and talk about the situation and kind of conceptualize that so right now. It's been almost a week in which the Iranian government has actually shut down the Internet and shooting Shiva and I couldn't even be in touch until they landed in the UK. I haven't been able to have been in touch with my family for the past near week. Either and this this sort of constant and current sort of uprising protests are really in part due to economic insecurities as sort of economic degradation of society see that has been caused by government corruption mismanagement of funds but also US and UK sanctions that have literally crippled society. Every single Iranian every single day is affected by sanctions by this country and by the United States. Things like medicine is unaffordable. Everyday curable. Diseases people are dying from because they don't have access to medical care or medicine because of the high prices food commodities everyday little things are so inaccessible accessible to every Iranian right now because of the situation so so important that yes what's happening in Iran is horrible but I think we also have to understand that the United states and the UK and many of our countries are also complicit. And what's happening right now. The reason and the difficulties that she didn't she will be talking about more both domestically but also from the sanctions that these countries are having creates a larger more complicated situation that we really need to be. unpacking and fashion is inherently political intertwined and all of this and yes obviously in Iran. There's a mandatory dress code and fashion. Maybe a little bit more political explicitly there but throughout the entire world. There is no such thing as apolitical fashion. It does not exist if anybody says fashion is apolitical. Please Punch them. This Muslim is condoning violence. I'm pleased on called prevent on me but it's true because fashion ultimately at its core is the motive communication. We're communicating something able to convey really powerful messages. Tell people about a culture about society or we're not an recyling. It and silence is complacency at a time where we truly cannot afford to. The world is fucking on. I can say fucking the world is fucking on fire right now. Aw How can we ever think that what we're creating and putting out in the world should not be engaging with us and all of us were closed and are in the business of fashion. I don't even immune that fund and yet are we actually truly grappling with the complexities of how fashion is truly political on so many levels beyond just just a slogan which could mean or not mean something based on where you're producing it Fashion is even more inherently political. If we think about production and consumption what does that mean. The majority of our clothes are produced in Southeast Asia by people who look like me and you had the majority of consumed here. In the West our whole industry relies upon and continues continues to profit from histories of imperialism genocide sanctions that have plagued the entire world and yet we still profit from it. We're living in an active empire. The British Empire still exists people are still profiting off of the fact that there is no economic growth. happening in countries countries like Indonesia because we profit from it and we value this and our entire industry is built upon it. So what does that mean and also the fact that fashion literally frames our bodies like literally every time we step outside. We're deciding how we want our body to be actually presented in the world there's nothing else that's more intimately connected to our identities or the manifestation of that in public space than fashion literally. Wraps it touches our skin. So what does it mean mean for something that's made in a product of violence to be rubbing off on our skin every single day were so so concerned about what we eat where it goes in our bodies but how about what touches our skin constantly every single day most nights some nights but also but it conveys a Maybe religion the fact that I'm visibly Muslim. My experiences growing up in the United States as someone visibly Muslim has been marked with physical assault being uncalled terrorists every single day. This is a reality that every day I step out of my house and choose to present myself in a way that I know that I'm GonNa be added to another government surveillance. Watch list her. And if you don't have to think about every day when you step outside of your house who is going to profile you or what police is going to stop and search you. That's privilege which doesn't make that decision any less political so we have to think about that and right now especially the fact that the Muslim identity is trending trending in the fashion industry. My identity is sexy. Every single person wants a Muslim. Who looks like me? Walking down the runway and their latest campaign. But how can we have the fact that right. Now we're at a time of heightened anti Muslim racism on a global level partnered with the time that we see Muslim faces taking up space across fashion magazines. What does that immune for our industry? Is that a trend. Or are we actually substantially dealing with and grappling with the manifestations of what it means to support Muslims. Would it means the support people people of Color. How can Nike? For example create. A pro hit job that was created with the raw materials by Muslim wiegert Muslims and concentration camps in western China passed down to Muslims in Indonesia working in sweatshops to produce Nike Apparel and then sold here and then be a product and praise as for being so pro Muslim. Why are we allowing brands and the whole entire fashion industry to simplify and reduce our identities into just a hit job? Hit Job is not synonymous as being Muslim but we allow fashion right now to reduce simplify and completely annihilate the movements Minson identities in which we've been working on for decades actually call this revolution washing greenwashing which I think most of us are familiar with. But it's at the revolution every brand. Dan Wants to be sexy. And part of the Revolution Right now. But what are you actually doing. Are you actually simplifying. And reducing and taking away the significance of what it means to be Muslim. The complex experiences of what it feels like to wear every single day and that the government simultaneously is gonNA use that against me or use that to invade on a son and and so. I'm really excited. Really excited to also be able to be the sheet and Sheva on this panel to understand that the world is fucking complicated like there's a lot She does happening every day everywhere but rather than just being afraid of taking a step back and be like okay. We're GONNA make the simple like I don't want to be controversial. We have to engage with at that. Fashion should not be in the business of simplifying things but embracing the complexity and really being able to grapple and imagine a better world and then actively work work toward building that

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