The Influence of Heritage on Iranian Designer Paria Farzaneh

Using her culture to shake up London Fashion Week

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Since her first runway show was beaconed by AnotherMan, Farzaneh has been mesmerising Londons fashion scene. The young menswear designer with Iranian roots was commended for her blend of utilitarian cuts and Iranian embroidery. As a result, Farzanehs A/W menswear collection has earned her a spot on the prestigious NEWGEN scheme, championing emerging UK talent and funded by the British Fashion Council.

Bringing Iranian influence to Londons main stage is no easy task. Eminent POC designers currently on the scene include Saul Nash, Priya Ahluwalia and Bianca Saunders, however Middle Eastern representation is severely lacking. Apart from entrepreneur Jalila El Mastoukis incredible LFW programme ‘Stories from Arabia’, that creates a space specifically for Middle Eastern (but more specifically Arab) designers, the region’s designers are by no means integrated into Somerset Houses main division. Farzanehs emergence in the core of the fashion industry marks a massive shift, even more so for her explicit Eastern influences, aside from her identity as a young, female POC designer.

As well as bringing Iran to the main stage of London Fashion Week, Farzaneh has recently earned a gig with Converse. As part of their Spark Progress campaign championing five emerging female creatives, Farzaneh is shown in the film making backstage adjustments, talking about the struggle of navigating an industry hostile to young POC female businesswomen. The same Iranian fabrics as featured in her debut LFWM collection were sported on her original Converse designs, contrasting the more sporty-oriented signature of the brand.

Known in the West as paisley, the print originated in Persia as butah, the tear-shaped motif that figures highly in Farzanehs designs. Her silhouettes are loose, particularly her Sand Kurdish pants, offering a heritage alternative to more skimpy summer-wear.

Farzaneh shows a clear dedication to her Iranian heritage, far from commercial and tokenistic appropriation.

Shop her latest collection at ln-cc.com

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