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Fashion is Freedom

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Fashion is Freedom

by Tala Raassi

‘Tala’s story has had had a powerful impact on my life. She is a woman who will change the world.’ – Jesinta Campbell

The inspiring true story of how courage, a dream, and some needle and thread can change a life forever. Even as a little girl, Tala Raassi adored fashion. But in her beloved homeland of Iran, a woman could be punished under Islamic law for exposing her hair in public, let alone wearing the latest trends. Despite the restrictions, Tala developed her keen sense of style at secret parties and backroom cafes. But she never imagined her behaviour would land her in prison and sentenced to forty lashes of the whip – for the crime of wearing a mini-skirt.

Rather than breaking her spirit, the punishment fanned the flames of rebellion and inspired Tala to embrace a new freedom in the United States. As Tala developed her own clothing label, her exploration of the creative, cutthroat community of Western fashion opened her eyes to the ups and downs of hard work, hard decisions, and hard truths.

Fashion is Freedom takes us on a journey that crosses the globe, from Tehran to Colombia to centre stage at Miss Universe, and inspires women everywhere to be fearless and follow their dreams.

About the Author


‘Tala, thank you for opening my eyes to how important fashion and the freedom of choice is for all women … Your story had a powerful impact on my life.  Every day I am grateful that I can choose whatever the hell I want to wear without the fear of punishment or violence or imprisonment … You are a woman who will change the world.’   – JESINTA CAMPBELL

‘An uplifting and empowering read. Tala Raassi’s story is a testament to our ability as women to pursue our dreams in spite of adversity.’ – Marie Claire

‘An unexpectedly wry and winning memoir … rare book equally likely to appeal to fans of Project Runway and students of contemporary Middle Eastern cultural history. ’ – Kirkus Reviews

‘Though her story is unique, all women can be inspired by her braver y and her perseverance. Fashion Is Freedom is a great testament to the power of hard work, regardless of where you come from.’ – Cosmopolitan

‘Tala can serve as an inspiration to young women everywhere for shedding a dark and difficult past to become successful in business…’ – SUCCESS magazine

‘Raassi ’s story is inspirational and ver y relevant for young entrepreneurs and creative types, providing plenty of insight into the dos and dont ’s of running a small business.’  – Publishers Weekly

‘A truly inspiring story of perseverance and passion. Tala’s honest account of the real trials and frustrations facing any fashion entrepreneur, proves that hard work and an optimistic spirit pave the way to success.’ – Mary Gehlhar, author of The Fashion Designer Survival Guide

‘I am inspired by her bravery and fearless nature … a woman who did not allow the difficult hardships she faced on her journey to deter her from chasing her dreams and creating change in the world. I am inspired by her bravery and fearless nature.’ – Jenna Ushkowitz, Actress, Producer and Author of Choosing Glee

‘I was so moved with Tala’s undying determination! I love that she fought back against oppression by moving from Iran to the US, launching her fashion line, creating super sexy styles for all, and embracing the ‘BIKINI’ as a symbol of freedom!’ – Monica Wise, L*Space Founder, Designer, and Creative Director