by Hoda Katebi
This work appears in Khabar Keslan Issue 1. DISORIENT
Tehran Streetstyle is a project of radical identity reclamation through fashion and portraiture. The colors, fabrics, aesthetics, architecture, faces, shoes, and textures photographed that make up the identities of young Iranian men and women are unedited, unfiltered, and unapologetic.
I chose fashion as the language for this project because of its powerful communicative properties: clothing is a universal language of self-expression, power, culture, and political tensions that can be communicated across people, cultures, and borders.
My work documenting illegal fashion in Iran is more than just celebrating the aesthetic value of fashion. It’s about reclaiming my identity as a Muslim-Iranian woman and challenging political realities here and abroad.
Hoda Katebi is a Muslim-Iranian abolitionist, photographer, author, community organizer, and radical fashion blogger based in Chicago. Her research focuses on the politics of the underground fashion movement in Iran and the intersections of feminism, resistance, fashion, and nation-hood. In 2013 she started JooJoo Azad, a radical, anti-capitalist fashion blog that has been praised by the Malala Foundation Blog and Mother Jones. In 2016 Hoda published the book Tehran Streetstyle, the first-ever in-print collection of streetstyle photography from Iran aimed to challenge both Western Orientalism and domestic Iranian mandatory dress codes. She is a member of the For the People Artist Collective and core organizer with Muslims Organize. Hoda frequently speaks at universities and establishments nationally and her work has been featured in various outlets.