Stylish Men Start Iraq’s First Gentlemen’s Fashion Club While Doing Social Good

Iraqi Men's Fashion Club Called Mr. Erbil Working to Promote Social Change

When you think of Iraq, you probably don’t think of fashion, but a group of dapper men are trying to change that. Calling themselves Mr. Erbil—named after the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan—the 30 core members are part of “Iraq’s first gentlemen’s fashion club.” Together, they don the likes of tailored three-piece suits, manicured beards, and colorful pocket squares. Looking good is one part of their mission, but they’ve got loftier goals. Mr. Erbil hopes to promote a new image for the conflict-ridden region.

Aesthetically, Mr. Erbil is a mix of Western-style attire and their own cultural heritage. They take inspiration from the effendis, a Middle Age era noble class that wore fine clothing and visited enlightening salons and tea shops. Similarly, this contemporary group organizes events to promote fashion as a form of self expression.

Although it’s fun to dress up, the political component to Mr. Erbil is serious. They see themselves as more than a club, but a movement that represents Iraqi Kurds who are looking for a better life. The men are proud of their culture and want to promote it worldwide. They also have a desire to challenge traditional attitudes—especially when it comes to women’s rights. Their popular Instagram account celebrates women working in the community by highlighting those that are doing good and encouraging them to continue their work.

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h/t: [BBC]

All images via Mr. Erbil.

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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