BRAVE NEW GIRL

A glam­orous Ira­nian swimwear de­signer makes the bold choice to be her­self.

Capitol File - - CONTENTS - BY AMY MOELLER

At age 16, Tala Raassi was im­pris­oned for five days in Tehran and pun­ished with 40 lash­ings. Her crime? She wore a miniskirt to a party. “My par­ents grew up in an en­vi­ron­ment where al­co­hol was le­gal, mixed par­ties weren’t banned, and women could show­case their in­di­vid­u­al­ity through their style in pub­lic. Ira­nian women were among the most fash­ion­able in the world!” ex­plains Raassi of life be­fore the Ira­nian Revo­lu­tion in­tro­duced stricter codes of con­duct. “Even though, after the revo­lu­tion, many of these sim­ple free­doms were taken away, I wit­nessed women who, de­spite all the re­stric­tions, put so much ef­fort into look­ing good. [My mother and her friends] were al­ways so glam­orous to me, and their beauty and style in­spired me.”

While the suc­cess­ful swim­suit de­signer left Iran for DC in 2000— she came here to be with fam­ily, not to flee the coun­try—that trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ence as a teenager helped in­spire her com­pelling mem­oir, Fash­ion Is Free­dom: How a Girl from Tehran Broke the Rules to Change Her World, which was pub­lished last year. “Free­dom is not about what you put on or take off,” she says. “It’s about hav­ing the choice to do so.”

This spring, the 33-year-old de­signer’s work con­tin­ues with the launch of her Spring/Sum­mer 2017 col­lec­tion, which, she says, was de­signed for the “stylish, bold, fear­less glo­be­trot­ter” to feel “com­fort­able, sexy, and con­fi­dent.” Her seven-year-old busi­ness is tak­ing off, but Raassi de­fines suc­cess a lit­tle dif­fer­ently. For her, she says, it means be­com­ing a bet­ter ver­sion of your­self. ta­laraassi.com

“I WROTE FASH­ION IS FREE­DOM TO SHOW GIRLS [WITH] BIG DREAMS THAT THE ROAD TO SUC­CESS IS A BUMPY ONE [BUT] IT DOES NOT MEAN WE CAN NEVER SUC­CEED.” —TALA RAASSI

Tak­ing the plunge: Swim­suit de­signer Tala Raassi (ƬơƨưƧ) has been busy! She just launched her Spring/Sum­mer 2017 col­lec­tion, in­clud­ing the Fi­esta off-theshoul­der ruf­fle-top one-piece ƛƨƭƭƨƦ ƫƢƠơƭ), and late last year, she re­leased her mem­oir, Fash­ion...

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