How the mandatory “manteau” became a fashion accessory in Iran?
For those who still ignore it, in the public places in Iran, women have to wear what we call a “manteau” – manto – in Iranian. To make it simple, a manteau is a jacket falling down the knees, in agreement with the current laws of the country, better not a close-fitting cut: the initial function of this coat is to hide the shapes. Far, very far from what one could imagine, young girls and Iranian women do not get dressed in a starkly way. Also, it’s not all the women wearing the Tchador. Some yes, but not everyone and in the streets of Tehran you will most likely find very fashionable and colorful people. Girls and women know how to twist the manteau and make it something nice and cool. Actually we could even talk about “It-Manteau” as we talk about “It-Bag” in the West.
We talked to Nazanine, a 27 years old young woman living in Tehran and she told us that to her “the manteau was the major piece of her look with the scarf she’s used to wear loosely. Manteau and scarves are the most important to get the right look because that’s what you see first”. Also, she explains us that she “spends a lot of money to get these fashionable manteaux”.
That’s exactly what young designers understood very well, like the brand Coocooz, focusing their ready-to-wear on this functional apparel to make it desirable with modern and structured cuts, nice and flexible materials.
Some other brands like Nofux we talked about here are playing with the colors and patterns like a mix & match which is a big trend on the manteaux and scarves markets in Iran.
What we have to say about fashion in Iran and Iranian brands is their profound attachement to the Persian culture, you could regularly notice in their collections. Young Iranian designers dare to mix traditional codes and trends to create a product that is close to their Iranian identity. Good to know for any brand from the West looking for success on the challenging Iranian fashion market. No success for brands ignoring that nationalist trend driving the market.
As a conclusion, we’ll answer to a question that stroke us last week: Yes, a women can walk in the streets of Tehran, and no, Iranian women are not wearing a Burqa. We’re not in Saoudi Arabia.
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Cover picture: DR