Stylist Engie Hassan, CEO Behnaz Ghahramani and Designer Zaid Farouki Collaborate on a Red Carpet Tribute for Iranian Women

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Tributes to Iranian Women Fighting for Freedom Were Stars of the Glamour Women of the Year Awards

“Every detail of the look was thoroughly thought out between the designer Zaid Farouki, Behnaz Ghahramani and I, including the color white, which Iranians choose when they carry a flag or fabric while marching… Hand painted by Iranian artist Nima Mirahmadi it says ‘Woman Life Freedom.’” Engie Hassan

Glamour celebrated global change makers and the most innovative women in the fashion and entertainment industries this November 1st at their iconic Women of the Year awards ceremony. Glamour also raised awareness of and honored Iranian women’s resistance in their presentation and had notable actors and activists of Persian Heritage, Nazanin Boniadi and Nasim Pedrad, as presenters.

On the red carpet, Egyptian American celebrity stylist Engie Hassan collaborated with fashion designer Zaid Farouki on the night's most powerful red carpet statement - a power suit and gown for and inspired by Glamour Board Member and Iranian American fashion industry insider Behnaz Ghahramani (known for holding senior roles at Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Stuart Weitzman and currently CEO at Brother Vellies).

“Our hope is to show women of Iran that there is are strong women all over the world who support and stand for them, as they so bravely stand up for themselves” said Hassan. Ghahramani wore a white deconstructed suit top with a hand-painted fabric skirt as a tribute to the women of Iran fighting for their freedom.

Hassan shared about the meanings behind the look: “Every detail of the look was thoroughly thought out between the designer Zaid Farouki, Behnaz Ghahramani and I, including the color white, which Iranians choose when they carry a flag or fabric while marching. The destruction of the suit blazer evokes the attempts to tear down the women of Iran as they rise up. The draped fabric of the skirt / gown holds the deconstructed suit together, symbolizing the necessity of women as the fabric of society. Hand painted by Iranian artist Nima Mirahmadi it says ‘Woman Life Freedom.’”

Ghahramani shared: “Zan Zendegi Azadi” or “Women Life Freedom” is a Kuridsh slogan honoring the importance of women – and this has become the anthem of this Women led revolution in Iran, that is being chanted by women and men around the world in solidarity.”

Ghahramani continued: “This collaboration is also an homage to my own story as an Iranian American, whose family was forced to leave Iran following the 1979 revolution, to my childhood in Dubai that was my home away from home until I finally immigrated to the United States at 16 years old. I think it is profound that a Palestinian designer, an Iranian artist, and Egyptian stylist all came together to make a dress for me, an Iranian American woman who is now the CEO of a Black owned business in America fighting for Women to have the freedom to choose, to bodily autonomy, to their human rights. Amidst the despair there is also beauty in the community that comes together to uplift us through our struggles.”

About the inspiration behind the suit Ghahramani said: “When I received the invitation for the Award ceremony this year, I immediately reached out to Engie. While we were discussing what to do, all of a sudden the world changed. On Sept 16, Mahsa Jina Amini a young 22 Iranian died in police custody after being detained and brutally assaulted by the Morality Police for what they deemed as inadequate compliance with the compulsory hijab laws. As an Iranian American woman I was outraged, and in the weeks that followed, what started out as protests to this brutal killing evolved into the largest Women led Revolution against a Gender apartheid in Iran. The world has been watching the brave women and girls of Iran fighting in the streets and schools of Iran for their basic human rights.”

Accomplished designer Zaid Farouki noted that a suit on the red carpet evokes the tradition of the “power suit” and here can also be seen as giving power to the Iranian women’s voice: “The origins of power dressing can be found in the Chanel suit of the 1920’s where the first iterations were a fitted skirt and tailored jacket and updates to the suit continued through the 1960’s Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘Le Smoking’ suit. It was a uniform that demanded respect, power and authority - and is today a symbol for feminism, equality and breaking the gender roles. In today’s world, the power suit of choice may be different from the original definition as we are no longer limited to a single definition of powerful style, instead we can choose what clothing pieces and how clothing can be worn to communicate a powerful message.”

About Engie Hassan
Whether styling a client for The Met Gala, The Oscars, The Grammy's or costuming feature films and Broadcast television, Fashion Stylist Engie Hassan is a sought after arbiter of taste and a go-to connector, helping clients broker meaningful alliances with the who’s who of the fashion industry in the U.S., Europe and across the Middle East.

For Red Carpets Hassan has styled Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Jeremy Piven, Taryn Manning, Rizwan Manji, comedienne and disability advocate Maysoon Zayid, Antoinique Smith, Emmy Nominee Cherien Dabis, Indian actress and activist Fagun Thakar and many others. Engie has styled music videos for Zach Matari, Lauryn Hill, Tony Nominee Joshua Henry, Jackie Nese, Frances Rose, Lily Massie, Mikel James, Deanna Demola and Young GVD. For personal styling / shopping she has worked with Orlando Bloom, Miranda Kerr, Lady Gaga, Andre Holland, Kanye West, Amir Arison and more.

Hassan is a Costume Designer and Wardrobe Stylist for over a dozen projects including the films Last Call (2021) Christmas With the Walters (2021), Crabs in a Bucket (2022), Sanctioning Evil (2022) and The Basement (2022). For Television she has costumed Money Hungry (with Kal Penn), Bedlam (Cannes award winner for Web series) and The Perfect Murder (ID).

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Marcy Clark