Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Interview

Fashion designer shares passion for Kurdish clothing in Norway

By Hîwa Selah 15/6/2018
A Kurdish Norwegian woman has revived traditional Kurdish fashion in Europe. Photo: Rudaw via Barzan Ahmed
A Kurdish Norwegian woman has revived traditional Kurdish fashion in Europe. Photo: Rudaw via Barzan Ahmed
Jwan Ahmad Badrxan along her family was forced to leave Iraq in 1984 due to the poor political condition and settle in Norway. She learned from her mother how to design clothes. Now two of her younger sisters have followed in her footsteps and work as a designer and model.  

Badrxan reveals her latest projects to Rudaw English, including why she has used non-Kurdish models in fashion shows and plans for an economic empowerment project for women living camps. 

Badrxan also says that interest in Kurdish clothing in Europe grew because of the Peshmerga fighting ISIS. The conflict informed Norwegians about the Kurds, and now, Kurds and even some Europeans purchase traditional Kurdish clothing.


Rudaw: Why did you decide to work in the areas of cultural design?

Jwan Ahmad Badrxan:
My mother was from the Rashola family, well-known artists in Sulaimani and this had an influence on us.

 

  In the past, Kurds in Norway did not give much attention to Kurdish clothes. But after the fight with ISIS, Kurdish enthusiasm increased  

My father is from the Badrxan family, which is known for their involvement in art, literature, and science.  We work on art in family. My two sisters also work as designers and models. My mom has artistic skills and always supports us.

Rudaw: Is working as a designer in Europe for you as a Kurdish woman difficult?

I always had this dream to become designer and I think Europe values design and fashion. I also have tried to combine my ideas with Kurdish symbols.  I always have kept the originality of Kurdish clothes, but I use different color and designs. I want to design the clothes like my ancestors, so the new generation will be aware of this culture. Now many people want to wear Kurdish clothes. For me as a Kurdish woman, even if there is difficulty, I can succeed. I am daring and courageous.  

Rudaw: How much do Kurds in Norway pay attention to Kurdish clothing?

In the past, Kurds in Norway did not give much attention to Kurdish clothes. But after the fight with ISIS, Kurdish enthusiasm

 

  This is right; most of my models have been European girls, but they look like Kurdish and Eastern girls.  

increased among them, so now many want to have Kurdish clothes. The emergence of Kurds on world stage has had great impact on Kurdish diaspora in Europe. Kurds became known in the world because Peshmerga bravery and this increased the demand for wearing Kurdish clothes. Now Kurds in Europe as young as 8 and even older ones wear Kurdish clothes.

What do Europeans know about Kurdish clothing? Have any European citizens ordered Kurdish clothing from you?

Now many European girls wear Kurdish clothes especially those who have Kurdish husbands; they are more eager than us to wear Kurdish clothes. On April 17, Norway’s National Day, some Norwegian women wore Kurdish clothes. There are Norwegian women who wear Kurdish clothes for their own national events.

 

Photo: Barzan Ahmed



Rudaw: In Europe, how many fashion shows did you participate in?


Overall I had some fashion shows in Europe, particularly in Norway. Most of them were displaying Kurdish clothes, but sometimes we had shows displaying Kurdish, European, and Eastern clothes.



Rudaw: Why did you only use European models in fashion shows? Why didn’t you use Kurdish women to model?


This is right; most of my models have been European girls, but they look like Kurdish and Eastern girls. I had these Europeans for

 

  I have a project in mind for women living in camps   

several shows and no one knows they are not Kurds. I have used some Kurdish models. I have used mainly Europeans models to show Kurdish clothes and many people really liked it.



You said that you designed Eastern clothes too, especially from Arab countries. Was it not difficult for you to design the clothes of another nation?


Besides Kurdish clothes, we have designed Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian, Gulf and other clothes from the Arab world. There is high demand for these Eastern clothes; even Kurds now wear such clothing.



What is your new project?


I have some big projects including a professional and academic magazine to introduce various kinds of Kurdish clothing.  Also, I want to publish a book on Kurdish culture in English. I have a project in mind for women living in camps especially those who are interested in sewing, design and art works.



   



Comments

 
Stewee Guy
Stewee Guy | 15/6/2018
Way to go Jwan! it bugs me so much when Kurdish women copy Erdogan's wife and ISIS clothing. We Kurds should be so proud of our own culture and not copy our oppressor's culture.
Post a New Comment
Comment as a guest or Login for more enhanced interactive experience

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Zagros | 7/20/2018 5:27:06 AM
Pete, if you had traveled the world as you claim then you'd have known that Rojava is not the most egalitarian system in the world. You'd have known...
Outsider | 7/21/2018 4:36:24 AM
The PKK/KCK/PYD/YPG reminds me on the political system in the "good old" Communist countries... yes you have a choice.. hence claiming demo...
Assad or Turkey? Uncertainty surrounds future of Qamishli
| 17/7/2018 | (13)
Shaxawan | 7/18/2018 7:35:12 AM
All what US gave us is some scraps whike they support Irani militias and Sunna Arabs with the most developed weapons. Shame on you US, still seeks...
Robert Patrick Shuttlesworth | 7/21/2018 3:33:58 AM
My fellow Americans, why are we allowing our leaders to ask permission to form Kurdish security forces, from some of the very people the Kurds have...
US to arm two more Peshmerga brigades – if Baghdad permits it
| 16/7/2018 | (4)
Mohamedzzz | 7/19/2018 5:39:19 PM
''A deal was reached Tuesday between regime-backer Russia and rebel-ally Turkey''... I always said Turkey 'IS' the problem, Problems cannot be solved...
kurd | 7/21/2018 2:21:45 AM
Mohammaedzzz@ you have always been wrong. the main problem for kurds is PKK+YPG. they are cancerous cell on body of kurdistan. they are in service...
Thousands evacuate pro-regime Syria towns
| 19/7/2018 | (3)
Dlawar | 7/20/2018 10:33:10 PM
The regime is often described is smart or shrwed but they're not, even dumber are the nationalists who are against the regime but happily applaud...
Family says execution of Kurdish prisoner in Iran is imminent
| yesterday at 10:57 | (1)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Parties eager for skilled politicians in next Kurdistan parliament 2 hours ago |

Parties eager for skilled politicians in next Kurdistan parliament

"If we want to have a strong government, our MPs more
Stacks of cash change hands at Erbil’s currency exchange market 5 hours ago |

Stacks of cash change hands at Erbil’s currency exchange market

Security is surprisingly lax more
Alcohol sales, consumption banned in Saladin province 6 hours ago |

Alcohol sales, consumption banned in Saladin province

Residents have compared the ban to the strict more
0.171 seconds