TEHRAN, Iran – Iranian police cancelled a catwalk show set to mark the opening of an unofficial Levi’s store in a Tehran shopping center, the Tasnim news agency reported Thursday.
The event was cancelled by “a last-minute police intervention” just before male models were set to walk on stage before a crowd of about 150 on Wednesday night, the hardliner-linked news agency said.
Despite opposition from religious leaders to the Westernization of the country, luxury shopping centers have sprouted across the capital, with many unauthorized stores selling smuggled or fake Western brands.
Most US companies are still banned from doing business with Iran despite a nuclear deal that lifted some sanctions in January.
The organizers of Wednesday’s fashion event, which was due to take place in the Rosha shopping center in chic northern Tehran, said it was cancelled due to “technical problems,” Tasnim reported.
Posters advertising the event and using the Levi’s logo were still available on the shopping center’s Instagram and Telegram pages.
Ironically, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took flak three years when, in an interview on BBC Persian, he implied that the people of Iran were not at liberty to wear jeans.
Taking to social media, thousands of Iranians posted pictures of themselves wearing jeans and mocking Netanyahu for his comment that Iranians would need to throw off the yolk of the Islamist regime to be free to do as they pleased.