Art And Culture

Iran’s Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Uniforms Unveiled

Iran’s Olympic Games Opening  Ceremony Uniforms UnveiledIran’s Olympic Games Opening  Ceremony Uniforms Unveiled

The outfit of Iranian participants in the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics was unveiled by Iran's National Olympics Committee (NOC) on July 28, after the initial controversy.

Just a few days prior to the opening of the 2016 summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, slated for August 5-21, Iranian Olympians' apparel in the march past at the Rio Maracana Stadium was finalized and confirmed.

Designed by the Iranian fashion designer Kamran Bakhtiari, CEO and brand owner of Cameron Zigzal, it was selected out of three designs presented by him. He created them together with his team in five days after the initial designs by another designer were hugely criticized by the public on social media.

As the world's major international multi-sport event, more than one billion people across the globe are expected to watch the best athletes of every nation in the opening ceremony of Rio 2016 on August 5. So it is obvious that the participants in the ceremony should be dressed in the best clothes to represent their national culture.

The initial controversy began a week ago when the NOC introduced on July 23 Iran's Olympics outfit for the opening ceremony. In just a matter of hours as the photos made the rounds on the cyber space and social media networks, they came in for severe public criticism for the poor design and tastelessness of the outfits.

Mahnaz Armin, the designer of the controversial uniforms, said it would reflect Iranian cultural identity. She was a dress designer in Istanbul for three years and received her degree in fashion design in Turkey. She has prior experience working with the Iranian National Olympics Committee, as well as with other sporting bodies.

However, many people disagreed. In the preliminary designs, a blue jacket, a pair of navy blue pants and an ochre-colored shirt were designed for the male athletes. The uniform for female athletes consisted of a pair of black pants, a knee-length manteau covering a shirt in ochre and a black headscarf.

On the colors which many believed were incompatible, the NOC's public relations director Mahmoud Abdollahi said, "The color blue evokes the turquoise waters of the Persian Gulf".

But the critics including artists, athletes, designers, the public and even the Olympians themselves believed that the clothes were unlikely to reflect the prestige of the Iranian team.

The protests were so pronounced that the officials agreed to go for a redesign. Different Iranian designers came up with alternative designs and posted them on social network sites.


  Three Designs Proposed  

Three days later, Bakhtiari posted a message on his Instagram feed that his team has prepared three designs for the Olympian uniforms, each provided in less than 24 hours from the sketch to the ready garment, using Iranian and Persian elements mixed with modern international clothing designs.

Bakhtiari has studied fashion designing for two years in the UK and has been involved in the field in Iran since 2008.

He submitted the designs to Kiumars Hashemi, president of the NOC, and met him the next day for the final decision.

The day after, Bakhtiari said in another post that his proposed designs were welcomed by Hashemi and one of them would be chosen and produced with a little modification, to be sent to Rio as the 53 Iranian Olympians had set off for Brazil the previous week.

The outfit selected is designed to have the national flag colors green, white and red. The men's outfit includes a white jacket with a green collar and red flaps. A green shirt with a white color and a pair of white slacks complete the uniform. Women athletes will wear a white manteau with a green collar, a green stripe around the middle of the sleeves and red placket and flaps accompanied by white pants. A golden Allah badge will also be attached to the chest of both men and women.

In less than a week to the opening of the games, his team is doing their best to finish their task on time. In his last message, Bakhtiari promised that "Iran's outfit in the ceremony will be one of the best."