In this presentation, I will talk about the advent of the female independent fashion designers within the underground Iranian fashion domain. These women are the “cultural intermediaries” and “new cultural workers”. Not only do they consider fashion as part of their livelihoods and do they create their labor market and a series of micro-economies based on their own self-employment strategy, but they also contribute to the negotiation of Islamic dress codes through their artistic and individualistic outlook of style. Indeed, these cultural intermediaries in their private fashion ateliers design and produce fashionable clothes that pursue different dress codes from what the state considers appropriate and public “decent” dress for women. I will also examine how the new generation of female designers are deploying Instagram for outreach, promoting their products and showcasing their design, thus contributing to the manipulation of Islamic dress codes through using the social media platforms. I will use the results of online interviews conducted with a few models and fashion designers based in Iran.
Leili Nekounazar is a PhD researcher at the Literature and Cultures Department of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, (KULeuven). She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism from 'Daneshkadeh Khabar' (Faculty of News), Tehran-Iran. She studied Cultural Studies for her first Master’s degree at faculty of art, KULeuven, and Cultures and Development Studies (Anthropology) for her second (advanced) Master’s degree at the faculty of social science, KULeuven. Currently, under the supervision of Professor Anneleen Masschelein she is writing her thesis on Fashion and Aesthetics Politics in Post-Revolutionary Iran. Leili has contributed to BBC Persian's talk shows and debates. She writes and debates about topics including pop culture, cultural semiotics, women’s rights, and feminist activism.
TechnAct is a research cluster on gender, sexualities, emergent communities and technocultural assemblages, devoted to explore the interconnections between the social, the cultural and the digital: https://sites.google.com/view/technact/start-page