This was stressed by Iranian officials as well as clothing designers and producers, the former in their addresses to the opening ceremony of the Eighth Fadjr International Fashion and Clothing Festival (February 15-21) in Tehran on Friday, and the latter in exclusive interviews with Iran Daily on the sidelines of the same event.
Last May, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed between Iran and P5+1 in July 2015, and reimposed Washington's unilateral sanctions on Tehran in two phases — both already in place.
Turning evil into good
Although US sanctions may have made it difficult for Iranian clothing designers and producers to import raw materials and textiles, the predicament will certainly help boost the country's production and exports, said an Iranian clothing designer.
"With the help of God, we can turn evil into good," Ghazal Bahmani, the concessionaire and founder of two Iranian clothing brands — Clotho and Craso — and the head of the board of directors of Arta Fashion and Art Institute, told Iran Daily.
On the back of the increase in domestic clothing production, a large number of job opportunities will be created and low-quality foreign products will no longer be able to enter the country's market, she added.
Elaborating on the main purpose of her institute — which was selected top participant in the previous edition of the fest held in the year to March 2018, Bahmani, who is also on the festival's panel of jury, said, "In this institute, we seek to help Iranian artists and designers put their designs and ideas into practice and serve as the missing link of domestic production chain."
Commenting on the opportunity US sanctions have provided Iranian clothing industry with, Amir Emadolsalam Oskouei, the managing director of Arta Fashion and Art Institute, also told Iran Daily that this is a golden period for stimulating domestic production and generating more foreign currency revenues.
He added the sanctions and the problems they have created can eventually accelerate the country's economic growth.
"I believe that at present, in case we pay greater attention to and put more time on domestic production, no foreign brand will be able to compete with Iranian ones in Iran's market as domestic potentials are very high."
To this end, Arta Fashion and Art Institute has become the missing link between domestic producers and designers connecting them with each other, he noted.
This way, Emadolsalam Oskouei said Iranian designers can sell their designs and domestic producers are always provided with up-to-date designs.
He noted that his institute, established in the year to March 2018, is mainly involved in training clothing designers and producers, adding in the past 12 months, more than 1,000 active designers have joined the institute.
He said to be precise, close to 700 truly committed designers are at present members of the institute, who have trust in the institute and take part in all the events it holds.
He noted that out of the 20 trainees in the institute's latest course, four have been selected among the top participants in the festival, adding a clothing collection of institute is also among the festival's tops.
"We also coach our trainees in the field of marketing."
Serving art society a priority
Speaking to Iran Daily on the sidelines of the same event, an Iranian clothing designer and producer, Mehrnoosh Moghtaderi, said in the past few years that she has been involved in this field, she has always done her best to effectively serve the Iranian art society in the fashion and clothing sector and gain customers' satisfaction.
Being the creator of two clothing designs and production brands of Rose and Khatoon, she said her career in this filed started in 2008.
Describing her motto as 'Be the creator of fashion and beauty', Moghtaderi noted that during the years she has been involved in the field, she has always sought to put her ideas into practice in the best manner possible, and expand the range of her activities in the areas of designing and mass production.
"I have always sought to produce designs that are delicate, attractive and popular. Straight lines and vibrant colors are among the unique characteristics of my works."
What officials said
The festival's opening ceremony was attended, among others, by Iran's Vice President for Family and Women's Affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar.
In an address to the opening ceremony, Ebtekar said Iran is among the countries whose capacities, potentials and capitals in certain fields have still remained untapped.
She added, "All these create a great and momentous situation for us."
Appreciating efforts by domestic designers, producers and traders in the fields of fashion and clothing as well as all Iranian cultural officials who have sought to use the country's entire capacities and assets, she said in the fourth decade following the victory of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution "we see that we have made significant progress in the areas of education and art."
Given its great cultural diversity and a large number of different ethnic groups, Iran has a high capacity to, thanks to its historical background and globally top-ranked handicrafts, make a significant progress in the field of clothing, Ebtekar noted.
She described as lucrative and very good, respectively, the economic dimension of the industry and the number of job opportunities it has created, stating that Iran should be a pioneer in this field.
Speaking at the same ceremony, Hamid Ghobadi, the secretary of the Iranian Working Group for Organizing Fashion and Clothing, said among the most important policies of the working group, adopted through solidarity and unity, is that "we have attempted to move toward employing a style- and taste-oriented approach from implementing a product-oriented one, which is an outcome of years of efforts".
Previously, he said, Iranian people had to use one-dimensional products, whereas in the past few years, Iran's fashion and clothing industry has adapted itself in a way to cater to their tastes.
Addressing the same ceremony, Sadigheh Pakbin, the festival's executive secretary, said the event seeks to be a window for showcasing a major cultural category and industry that has a very high turnover in domestic market. She added the festival aims to do its best to hand over the helm of this market to domestic producers.
"We are required to provide our producers with the opportunity to exploit these potentials to be able to witness an incremental progress in this cultural field."
She said Iran had previously handed over domestic clothing market to foreign producers, whereas "we can capture it by paying greater attention" to this industry.