Posted on: January 7, 2020

Iranian Artist Spotlight – Zeynab Izadyar

Zeynab Izadyar: Graphic and Fashion Designer

A figure models loose white pants that are decorated with the red font from a Persian rice bag and a hand-dyed marble patch.

Owner of fashion label VVork VVork VVork, Zeynab Izadyar uses traditional techniques and motifs to create modern-day garments. Her Brooklyn-based studio produces textiles that are heavily influenced by Persian graphics and dyeing methods. Each item of clothing is completely unique, blending the lines between fashion and function.

A quilted black jacket displays a series of hand-dyed patches that create a mountain scene with a lake in the forefront and a full moon floating above.

Zeynab Izadyar grew up in Iran, receiving her BFA in graphic design from the University of Tehran. Eventually, a MFA from Yale University brought her to America but she never lost her Persian roots. She started Vvork VVork VVork in 2017. This artistic platform is heavily steeped in Persian iconography and calligraphy as well as Persian dyeing and weaving traditions. For example, Izadyar often uses recycled rice bags as part of her quilting. Furthermore, she uses natural dyes of her own creation in marble-dyed fabrics. She learned this skill as a child from her mother. In this way, Izadyar evokes nostalgia by incorporating history and culture into otherwise uninspiring materials like rice bags, muslin, and cotton. Her patchwork style constantly recalls the comfort of quintessential Persian imagery with a modern twist.

This black sweatshirt evokes warmth on a dark night. A marble-dyed full moon overlooks a bowl of steaming porridge. This is accompanied by a reused piece of a rice bag and hand-stitched writing in Farsi.

In many ways, Zeynab Izadyar follows the same ethos as Orley Shabahang. Both VVork VVork VVork and Orley Shabahang apply a contemporary vision to ancient handcrafted techniques. In both cases, quality is always a priority, never an afterthought. In a recent interview with Fashionista, Izadyar said “Persian food takes a relatively long time to cook, in other words it’s a slow-made food, the way that Vvork Vvork Vvork has been slow-made wearables. It’s funny that some Persian stews taste better the next day and that is what I hope can happen with my work over the time.” This sentiment directly addresses the sign of a well-made Persian carpets as well. At Orley Shabahang, we are happy to create the antiques of tomorrow, textiles that only grow finer over time.

This image shows Izadyar's shop in Brooklyn, which showcases several of her handmade, one-of-a-kind items of clothing.