High-end fashion designer Tala Raasi whipped for wearing a mini skirt

On leaving university in 2005 she set out to start her own fashion label but it wasn’t all plain sailing for the fledgling designer.

“I hated it at first. I was lonely, I didn’t speak much English and I also felt guilty for leaving Iran,” says Tala, who took retail and admin jobs to pay her rent.

Aged 21 she set up and lost a T-shirt company with help from her parents. Then in 2008 she opened a boutique which folded during the recession. However in late 2009 she set up Dar Be Dar, a luxury swimwear brand. “At first it was a scrabble and I made pieces to order and bought the fabric only when commissioned.

I had no money,” she explains. “Yet over time that changed. I had investors and I have achieved my dream of becoming a designer.” Tala’s parents, back in Iran, couldn’t be more proud of their daughter.

“They have finally stopped telling me to become a lawyer,” she laughs. Tala now sells her designs in America and Dubai and travels the globe to get inspiration for her latest collections. “I adore London, the fashion there is some of the best,” she says.

She admits there have been times she wondered whether it was all worth it. “It’s been a struggle but I am so proud of how far I have come,” says Tala.

“For me, fashion is about freedom. It’s about expression, it’s about hope.” “I have been in a place of no hope. So I’m doing this for every woman out there who feels like they can’t follow their dreams.”

Fashion Is Freedom by Tala Raassi is out on September 8, RRP £8.99 (Blink Publishing)

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