ANZ Is the Cult Label That Wears Its Middle-Eastern Influence On Its Sleeve

When I asked Ainy Naim, the designer behind ANZ, a ready-to-wear label specializing in knitwear, if she thought fashion had a responsibility to be political, she responded: “I think everyone in this day and age, with the way the world is, should be informative. I think it’s always good to be an artist in that way — there should always be a message in your work.”

ANZ was launched in 2014 after Ainy started designing cardigans inspired by Saudi Arabian, Jordanian, and Palestinian fashion, and demand went through the roof.

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In shape, the cardigans resembled farwa coats — popular in Saudi Arabia and Jordan — while featuring a traditional Palestinian print often found on keffiyehs — a kind of head scarf which protects against dust, sand and sunburn.

Ainy says the inspiration came from both growing up “in a multicultural environment,” and from growing up as a tomboy.

“I love easy clothing,” Ainy explained. “It comes out of the comfort element where you can kinda dress up and look cool but not be too much. It’s just a throw-on piece.”

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Which she suspects is partly why celebrities like Kanye West, Desiigner, and Alicia Keys are fans of her designs.

Plus, there’s the cool factor.

“People have described it as a cult, like a fashion cult,” Ainy said, with a hint of pride.

Check out ANZ’s new Spring 2017 Collection, modeled by UK R&B singer Vanessa White.




For more ANZ check out their website and their Instagram @anzstyle.

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