By Giulia Primo and Cassidy Slockett
“Kurdistan what?” This is response uttered from the majority of people when they hear of this new fashion movement in in the middle east.
Kurdistan is an autonomous nation completely isolated from Iraq, but is still under its laws and not recognized as an independent country. This isolation caused an immense amount of tension, which contributed to a civil war. The country had an overall feeling of hopelessness and opportunities were few and far between. This chaos was patched up in 2003 when the US ousted Saddam. Business and foreign investments ourished and many jobs and companies began to ood the region.
In February of 2016, 22 Kurdish (Iraqi) “peacocks” gathered together in the Iraq’s Kurdistan capital, the Citadel of Erbil, with the help of social media. Since this gathering, twenty-somethings Omer Nihad, Goran Pshtiwan, and Ahmed Nauzad formed a social movement called Mr. Erbil. This group is Iraq’s rst gentlemen’s fashion club, characterized by men wearing three-piece suits, tight trousers, aviator glasses, wingtip shoes and carefully trimmed beards. The three were determined to create a better life, to improve the country’s image and develop the region. Since then, four “Gentlemen’s Gatherings” have taken place, and there are plans for the fth one in the making.
With this new globalization, Nihad became frustrated that everyone dressed the same way. He chose to instead buy his clothes from local tailors instead. Mr. Erbil was formed during a time of war against Isis. Kurdish youngsters were presented with a completely di erent situation from the one which characterized the years after Saddam and
before Isis. In these years, the region was actually thriving economically and full of opportunities. peacocks are transforming the image of Iraq and Kurdistan to promote an optimistic view to the world.
Mr. Erbil was inspired by Pitti Uomo, a fashion gathering in Florence, Italy, which is well known for its extravagant male participants and mainstreaming modern day dandyism since the 1970’s. That being said, Mr. Erbil stress that they are putting this style into the traditions of educated and well-respected Kurdish men.
Now that Mr. Erbil is becoming well known and respected, the group has become a catalyst for bigger changes in our society. They now promote women’s rights and women in the workplace. In the future, they plan to arrange etiquette classes, a gentleman’s club house, a model agency, barber, tailor and boutique fashion line.
Photos from the Mr. Erbil Facebook page.