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Capture The stigma prevalent in the West that suggests the Islamic Republic of Iran is a place full of drab. Young Iranian designers proved this wrong by showcasing a range of up-to-date trends for both women and men at Iran's very first fashion week. The event took place between the 7th-9th of February at the Sam Center in north Tehran. Neda Sadeghi was amongst six of the seven fashion designers that participated in the highly anticipated week. Sadeghi explained how there is an increasing amount of women that are now part of the fashion industry. They are involved not only as customers but investors and business owners. More women are choosing to be either silent or visible partners, as well as sales people and supervisors. Sadeghi began fashion design around five years ago when she was inspired to make clothes for men. She has been in the official business for around three years. Compared to Western figures, her sales are subtle (approximately $100,000 to $150,000), despite this, the company is expanding, and other states are getting in on the action. Sadeghi hopes to showcase her creations to larger companies situated in the West. Many other fashion designers participated in the show, including Arshia Deylami, Monir Davaei, Orchid Ganji, Pooneh Askarian and Nasim Akhavan. There are two clear groups when it comes to fashion in Iran. There is the everyday legally approved clothing that people can be seen wearing on the street (although such products are under constant scrutiny from women to change and modernize) and then there are the clothes that people wear 'underground' or in the privacy of their own homes. Despite this, a variety of colors and designs can be seen in the streets and shops. Around 20 years ago, all women would be seen wearing was clothing that resembled shapeless bin bags. In contrast, women aged under 50 enjoy wearing form-fitting dress and tunics in vibrant colors. It's true that women from the West could easily embrace many designs and outfits that are for sale in Tehran clothes shops. The costumes can be adapted suitably for the Western population by just removing the leggings or headscarves that Iranian women have to wear due to government regulations. Iranian officials have sat back on their constant battle trying to dictate exactly what clothing or Islamic covering women must wear. In recent days, it's not uncommon for Iranian women to wear leggings for pants or headscarves that are positioned to show most of their hair. The impressive growth in Iran's fashion industry is a welcomed outcome thanks to the skilled, creative young designers and because of a higher level of freedom granted by the administration of President Hassan Rouhani. While the fashion industry in Iran still has a long way to go, it's definitely making history and finally getting some of the recognition that the countries sector deserves.
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