We – the team of the “Intercultural Network for the Gifted” – are proud to announce our participation in Side Fashion Week in London on February 15, 2020 which was represented by our team member and cooperation partner Zarya Azadi. Ms. Zarya Azadi is an international Yazidi model and human rights activist for woman.
We would like to thank Ms. Zarya Azadi and Ms. Savîta Kayê, the founder and CEO of the House of iKons, for the great cooperation.
Due to the global corona pandemic, which has been going on for half a year, and its restrictions, this article will be published with a delay.
In the following text, Ms. Zarya Azadi gives us important informations and describes her impressions of the Side Fashion Week.
Our participation in London Fashion Week 02/2020
Written by Zarya Azadi
Germany, August 17, 2020
In February 2020 the Fashion Week started again in London and around the world. Just like the other ‘Big Four’ major fashion weeks along with Milan, Paris and New York, also London kick-started its fashion festival showcasing over 250 designers to a global audience of influential media and retailers. The aim of the fashion weeks is to showcase the newest collections to potential buyers. The fashion weeks take place twice a year in February and September. The so called ‘official fashion shows’ during the fashion weeks are reserved for invited guests and members of the fashion industry which are very difficult for outsiders to get in or even participate. These are the crème de la crème of the fashion industry including well known high fashion top designers like Gucci, Armani, Dolce& Gabana & Co. These well-established top designers don’t need to be introduced to the world anymore as they are already household names and which are very difficult to compete with as young and emerging designers. That is why Fashionistas around the world have started creating their own fashion shows during these fashion weeks, the so called ‘side shows’, to give a platform to those newcomers in the fashion industry to brand themselves. So is the House of iKons Fashion Show in London where I not only run the catwalk as a fashion model but also launched my own campaign ‘Evolve Your Heritage’ to fight for women’s rights and equality.
The “Intercultural Network for the Gifted” not only deals with IQ, but also introduces all areas of life and cultures.
I am very happy to be part of the network and to be able to represent it at t the House of iKons at my stand in the exhibition show room.
The concept of the House of iKons Fashion Show is to give emerging designers and other creatives a platform to launch their clothing line and express their arts in many different forms and bring it to the next level. With its unique concept the House of iKons has been very successful since the launch in London in 2014. The founder of the House of iKons is Ms Savîta Kayê under the Lady K Production, who successfully draws in fantastic crowds to its independent show. “We will continue each season highlighting beauty and creativity not just in design and music but for ALL regardless of ethnicity, size, shape and sexual orientation; as everyone has the right to feel and look good, feel confident about who they are in the HERE & NOW!! Everyone has that right and we will continue to push boundaries and stereotypes… we are still a small drop in this BIG OCEAN… But we will continue to create a storm and bring beauty and creativity to who ever you are, where ever you are, from around the world.” This statement of Ms Savîta Kayê has made me want to work with her even more, not just as a fashion model but especially for my own campaign ‘Evolve Your Heritage’. Together with the House of iKons Fashion Team we organised and planned my editorial photo shoot highlighting women’s oppression with the title ‘Red Ribbon’. I am very pleased that my ‘Red Ribbon’ editorial photo shoot came out exactly as I versioned, soft but powerful and of course with a strong message. The ‘Red Ribbon’ symbolises the virginity of a woman at the wedding ceremony and has to be worn around the bride’s waist to be shown to the community. It is an ancient tradition in many different cultures around the world as it was believed as a proof of paternity test. But unfortunately this tradition turned into an oppression and was used to downgrade women if they weren’t virgins anymore as the worth of those women was no longer valued. In these cultures the honour of a family is considered to be damaged if the woman is no longer a virgin. This is still current to this date. The honour of a family needs to be re-defined in the 21st century in my opinion. Hence the reason for my campaign ‘Evolve Your Heritage’. Maintain your culture but change ancient traditions for the sake of humanity.
I have therefore joined the NGO Mundo Cooperante from Spain as a partner and an ambassador to fight against FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), child marriage and forced marriage in Kenia and Tanzania. Unfortunately FGM is also being practised in the Muslim Kurdish region in Iraq.
I represented also the Mundo Cooperante at the House of iKons at my stand in the exhibition show room.
I purchased 200 Maasai Bracelts against FGM from Mundo Cooperante and cooperated them in my campaign ’Evolve Your Heritage’ and ’Red Ribbon’. As a sponsor of the House of iKons, I filled the goody bags with my own ‘Red Ribbon Pins’, the Maasai Bracelets and flyers about my campaign, charity organisation and the network. I am the first international Yazidi Kurd to run the catwalk at the House of iKons and I am dedicated in supporting other Kurdish and Yazidi artists to achieve the same. I believe we can create new opportunities for our community in order to grow, evolve and move forward as one nation regardless of our differences.
I will be sponsoring the House of iKons again next February 2021 and even planning a new project for a solo segment to represent the ‘Hidden Beauty of Kurdistan’.
The fashion platform is such a beautiful, creative and unique way to highlight important issues and I will continue in doing so.
Images © 2020 Courtesy of Zarya Azadi (Germany) & Savîta Kayê (London / England)
Image 3: Roll-Up Display of our Intercultural Network For The Highly Gifted © 2020 Çiğdem Gül (Wuppertal / Germany)