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From Censorious Iran to Spirited San Francisco: Designer Gelareh Alam Makes a Name for Herself

After being raised in repressive Iran, a country known for its severity, especially towards women, now-fashion designer Gelareh Alam found herself in an entirely different world upon arriving in San Francisco in 2001. Alam started out as a child psychology graduate student in the Bay Area, but being a self-taught artist and hosting a lifetime yearning for a creative career, she found herself drawn towards sculpture and painting more than ever in her newfound home. Here, in a city known for its imagination and innovation, was where she finally did not have to suppress her creativity or be censored.

“Becoming an artist wasn’t a viable choice for me when I was growing up in Iran. But when I relocated to San Francisco, I was faced with a culturally liberating environment that enabled me to become a designer,” she tells JustLuxe. “In my work, there are definite influences from both my heritage and my current home that I continuously explore thematically as the foundation of my designs.”

Jenna Intersimone

Jenna Intersimone is a travel and fashion writer. ...(Read More)

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