Iran bans organiser of World Cup-themed fashion show

Female models paraded in abayas using national flag designs, colours
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Iran has reportedly banned a fashion show organiser and modelling agency after female models paraded in Islamic-style clothing with designs depicting the national flags of World Cup teams.

The House of Fashion hosted the World Cup-themed show in late June, using models from Violet agency, which claims to be the first Iranian modelling agency.

The models’ clothes ran to the floor and covered their heads, while leaving the face open, similar to an abaya.

One outfit was designed using the colours of the Iranian flag but without the Arabic script for Allah.

Another showed an image of the Asian Cheetah.

Conservative critics took offence to the designs, as well as the presence of unrelated men in the audience, the AFP newswire reported.

Culture and Islamic guidance ministry official Hamid Ghobadi was quoted by Shargh newspaper as saying that the show organisers “did not have the authorisation for this show… it will be unable to continue its activities until further notice”.

House of Fashion president Javad Shirazi sought to play down the incident. “We did not use the flag with the word Allah. We simply used the colours of the flag,” he was quoted by Shargh as saying.

Shirazi said the clothing was intended for women to wear in stadiums to support their team.

However, Iran has banned female sports fans from attending games in stadiums, in what it claims is for their own protection against what authorities call a “vulgar” atmosphere created by an all-male audience.

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