Meera Adnan designs clothes that tell the story about her family in the 1980s Gaza, a city under Israeli occupation.

One day, about a year and a half ago, Meera Adnan, a young Palestinian fashion designer, went through her family photos taken in the 1980s. She was intrigued by the dress sense of her mother, aunt and grandparents. 

Around the same time, Meera debuted in the world of fashion with a label under her own name. She found inspiration in the images of her family members, who wore a combination of attractive clothes that defined the era of the 80s when Gazans navigated a brutal occupation of Israel. 

"Gaza does not overtly inspire my designs," says Meera, "but you notice them indirectly." 

"Sometimes, you find it in embroidery or in the visual elements that I add to the photos before publishing it."

The colours of Gaza, Meera's beloved city, often appear in her designs. There is a tinge of green, the colour central to the Gazan identity, in many of Meera's designs. It symbolizes olive trees that are in abundance in Gaza. 

Each time Meera visits Gaza, she returns to Istanbul feeling inspired to make new designs that reflect the city's spirit of survival.
Each time Meera visits Gaza, she returns to Istanbul feeling inspired to make new designs that reflect the city's spirit of survival. (Courtesy of: Meera.Adnan.Label)

There are about 33 thousand square metres of land with olive trees, according to the Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza.

The famous Gaza Sea is not absent from Meera's designs either.

"This dark green blazer is grateful for the Palestinian olive shades and the motherland," Meera says. 

"Pearl buttons inspired by the shells of Gaza beach. The puffy sleeves are our favourite statement twist with this collection, inspired by the 80s Palestinian fashion scene."

It's the ordinary detail of Gaza that has shaped Meera Adnan's work.
It's the ordinary detail of Gaza that has shaped Meera Adnan's work. (Courtesy of: Meera.Adnan.Label)

28-year-old Meera earned her bachelor's degree in accounting in Gaza. Later on, she pursued her master's in International Business in the UK.

She moved between Gaza, Jordan, the UK and Germany. For a while, she worked in a fashion marketing company in Hamburg. 

But her love for fashion made her think of creating her brand. So she moved to Istanbul to start working on it.

At that point, her dream was about to come true.

"The clothes express what I want to say without having to speak. That's what I love about fashion." Meera tells TRT World.  "It tells a story that has to do with life, society, politics, the environment, history, and even art around us."

Meera designs her collections in Istanbul and then takes them to Gaza. Each time she returns with a new inspiration that's somehow linked to the Palestinian cause.  

Meera chooses the fabrics and supplies from Turkey for her designs. Then, the production process begins in Istanbul while the sale is online. 

"My designs are sold in many countries worldwide, such as Europe, America, Gulf countries, and Arab countries," she says.

Ameera Adnan's grandmother in the middle holding her mother on the left and uncle on the right. The old photos of her family have played a major role in shaping her creative output.
Ameera Adnan's grandmother in the middle holding her mother on the left and uncle on the right. The old photos of her family have played a major role in shaping her creative output. ()

She does not approach fashion only commercially but as pieces of art as she describes.

"I want people to keep what they purchase from my designs. I want it to be precious so they can pass it on to their grandchildren one day," she adds.

Meera Adnan's mother at her high school.
Meera Adnan's mother at her high school. (Courtesy of: Meera.Adnan)

Although it is difficult to travel to and from Gaza due to the imposed blockade, Meera prefers to live there.

Meera has already attained some international recognition as she's been featured in several fashion magazines

Her designs have appeared in Vogue magazine's American, Italian and Arabic publications. The prestigious Marie Claire magazine ran her profile, too. 

"This exceeded my expectations, and I am so happy with what I have achieved. I did not imagine that I would reach it in such a short time," says Meera. 

The core of Meera Adnan's work is rooted in reflecting the feelings of the residents of the Gaza Strip.
The core of Meera Adnan's work is rooted in reflecting the feelings of the residents of the Gaza Strip. (Courtesy of: Meera Adnan)

She doesn't want to showcase her work in a showroom. She believes her story has reached people online, and she'd prefer to keep it that way. 

 "All I want to do is to create more. I'm living the dream, doing what I love and not thinking about it commercially," says the beautiful brunette fashion designer.

Although she's satisfied with what she's achieved so far, Meera seeks to reach more people with her unique and daring collections.

Source: TRT World