Persian Shoes

I’ve received a lot of mail concerning my Persian shoes, and Glenn O’Brien, GQ’s Style Guy, has been a long time admirer, in person and in print. I wore a green pair (self-dyed) on Bill Maher’s Real Time back in 2009, in support of the Green Movement’s Persian Spring, which, needless to say, raised a few eyebrows (all the way up to their turbans) in Tehran.

But they are a wonderfully stylish alternative to sneakers or espadrilles—cotton uppers and cotton (and leather) soles, that are virtually indestructible. Sadly, the art of making them is being lost—you can’t find any self-respecting Persian actually wearing them, not unless they’re working rural folk—and when I wear them in Iran I receive rather bemused looks from passersby. You can’t buy them in the U.S. (or anywhere else except Iran, for that matter), mainly because of sanctions, but if you know someone traveling to Iran (perhaps a journalist or someone on a tour?) ask them to pick up a pair for you in the Bazaars—you won’t regret it. Or, write to your Congressman or MP and demand that they lift sanctions on giveh—the Persian word for the shoes—because, after all, the shoes are made by artisans in the provinces of Iran where nuclear is just another word for nothing left to lose.

Labels: Fashion, On The Street, Style     permalink

4 thoughts on “Persian Shoes

  1. I just asked a good Iranian-Canadian friend of mine to bring me a pair from Iran. I will let you how I feel walking a mile in your shoes. :D

  2. Pingback: Iran Snapshots: Riot in Thieves Alley – Part 3 of 3 « Reviews Technology

  3. mer30,

    I will look for them as well on my next trip. Any recommendations where to look for them in Tehran?

    kind regards from Germany
    Mahdi Shargh

  4. Hey, these shoes are kurdish and theyre called “kilash” and worn with traditional clothes. Some wear it casually since they are light, comfortable and breathe well.
    How do I know? I’m kurdish and I know these shoes. Almost every kurdish man owns atleast one pair.

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