Iran isn't considered a fashion capital, but the country's fashion bloggers never got the memo. In fact, Iranian's street style rivals that of fashion meccas, including New York and Milan, although its female bloggers must abide by a strict dress code. 

In 1979, Iran transitioned from a monarchy to an Islamic Republic. This also ushered in a cultural revolution, which placed specific clothing restrictions on women.

For instance, Iranian women are asked to partially cover their hair with a hijab, wear dark colors, and avoid nail polish, sandals, and leggings.

However, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani eased many of those restrictions when he took office in 2013.

"If a woman or a man does not comply with our rules for clothing, his or her virtue should not come under question," he told The Guardian. "In my view, many women in our society who do not respect our hijab laws are virtuous. Our emphasis should be on the virtue."

The Tehran Times, Iran's first street-style blog, has captured how Iranian women are boldly expressing themselves through fashion.

Designer Araz Fazaeli created the blog to combat misconceptions about Iran.

A photo posted by Moda Rangi (@modarangi) on

After graduating from college in 2012, Fazaeli said he realized that many Westerners are uninformed.


I realized I was in a unique position to interpret our culture for those who questioned our dress code! Many other young Iranians across the world are constantly answering the same old questions of misinformed or ill-informed Westerners. If those boring questions were pop music, then 'Do you ride camels in Iran?' would be 'Billie Jean.' Exploring the dichotomy of the culture I loved and the culture the world saw fueled my work through four years of fashion school... I realized Middle Eastern cultures offer the world of fashion and enrich it, and yet not enough attention has been afforded them. I saw that I could shift the focus.

Now, The Tehran Times shows how Iranian women are making bold sartorial choices.

Muslim-Iranian writer and photographer Hoda Katebi told AFAR Magazine that it's unsurprising to see Iranian women taking control of their wardrobes.

"Fashion is a very powerful form of communication," Katebi said. "Because I wore a headscarf, people already had a set of assumptions about who I was and what I believed, and it was when I decided to resist Islamophobia—to become resilient, to challenge it, and to understand why people were saying and doing these things—that I began to control that image."

All of this resistance is part of an attempt to reframe the greater cultural understanding of Iran — as it should.