Doe-eyed beauties swathed in brocade vests and wispy pantaloons recline on a velvet divan against the backdrop of Erbil’s ancient citadel. The explosion of color and exotica would have left Jean Leon Gerome, the celebrated 19th century orientalist painter, in a swoon. Welcome to Lara Dizeyee’s world, the newly minted princess of Kurdish haute couture.
The Viennese-born oil and gas professional burst on to the regional fashion scene in April with a spread in Vogue Arabia. Now she’s going global. Dizeyee will be showcasing her designs at Paris Fashion week in early July.
Dizeyee’s dizzying rise is vindication of her long cherished dream to create a unique line of luxury wear blending Kurdish traditions with contemporary twists that leave a woman “feeling like a queen.”
“I always believed that my work would reach the world stage. I wasn’t surprised, I wasn’t shocked, when I received the invitation to Paris,” Dizeyee told Al-Monitor in a recent interview at her workshop in Erbil’s Ainkawa neighborhood. “I knew from day one that those designs would go somewhere because I created them with so much hope and love,” Dizeyee said. “It’s a big achievement for me and for my people. Alhamdullilah, I am very happy.”