Expatriate designer Sadegh Roushani plans Iran image remake
Australia-based Iranian designer Sadegh Roushani plans to use fashion to remake Iran’s image in the world.
TEHRAN – Australia-based Iranian designer Sadegh Roushani plans to use fashion to remake Iran’s image in the world.
In 2014, he launched his fashion label Roushani Design in the Gold Coast to produce apparel with decorative Iranian motifs and images of the historical sites in his homeland.
Earlier in November, he was in Iran to visit his relatives as well as to take photos of some sites in the country for use in fashion design work.
Speaking to Tehran Times in an exclusive interview, Roushani, 51, said that he hopes his work can repair the false image of Iran that exists in the world. Currently, his designs have customers in over 20 countries.
“People in Australia know of Iran due to the nuclear issue and the many Iranians who have sought asylum in their country. Some of them do not have any knowledge about Iran and how beautiful it is,” he mentioned.
In his first project that began after the establishment of Roushani Design, he was inspired by the details of the patterns used in the decorations of some ancient religious sites in Isfahan, Shiraz and several other Iranian cities.
He took photos of the patterns on Si-o-Se-Pol, a historical bridge with 33 arches in Isfahan, and the ruins of Persepolis near Shiraz to use them on the garments being produced by his company.
Sadegh Roushani clad in a creation by Roushani Design poses in an undated photo.
He set his sights on attracting the interest of those tourists who visit Iran every year.
“The tourists take these products as souvenirs to their homes and they become promoters of Iran when they have them on,” he said.
He wishes he would be allowed to pursue this work in his homeland.
“It is really sad to see Iranian youth wearing T-shirts and dresses that bear crude motifs and foreign inscriptions irrelevant to their native culture,” said Roushani, who left Iran in 1992 to start a new life in Greece. However, he moved to Australia after living about seven years in Greece.
“I wonder if they know what is written on them and what it means. Meanwhile they could wear clothes related to their native culture and history,” he added.
Although his work can be viewed as a business, Roushani doesn’t consider himself as a businessman due to the noble goal he seeks.
“I don’t look at my photography and designing as a business. That’s my love and it’s my gift to my homeland Iran.”
Everything is natural in the photos Roushani takes for his works. He does not use software to alter the images imprinted on his company’s garments.
As a result, he sometimes has to wait hours and days for the right moment with the perfect light to take a photo.
A model wears a Roushani Design’s creation in an undated photo.
It took me several years to learn when to take a photo of Persepolis or Si-o-Se-Pol with the right light, which can happen only once a year," he explained.
Roushani spends about seven weeks preparing a photo to be imprinted on fabric. Designs are selected based on whether the garment is intended for men or women due to gender differences.
“I make clothing with quality materials and I am proud of my work because it focuses on my country,” he said.
“I really love to see young Iranian men and women in the clothes, walking along streets with pride in their own heritage and culture, as well as in that crazy man who made them,” he added.
Roushani did the job all alone, but now, he is ready to collaborate with experts in his homeland to pursue his goals in Iran.
“I have designs lined up for the next five years. Mashhad is my next destination,” he added about his future plans.
He described his house in the Gold Coast as a small Iranian museum displaying his artworks as well as handicrafts from Iran. He even has a room dedicated to showcasing artworks from Isfahan.
He welcomes anyone interested in visiting his house. “The door is always open. I give them a small gift, a piece of Iran’s art,” he said.
Roushani calls his New Zealander wife “a big supporter of” his work. “When I get tired she backs me up because she is also in love with Iran,” he stated.
“We can advertise Iran in a way that doesn’t require language. Everybody loves and understands the arts. I just need to get the Iranian government to see its importance,” he said.
Roushani advises his fellow artists, “You don’t need money or support, God gives you everything. Never give up. Have a goal, have a dream.”
Photo: Isfahan Room at Sadegh Roushani’s house, Gold Coast, Australia