Shirin Gerami: Iranian triathlete

Shirin Gerami

Following a long political campaign to compete internationally, Shirin was about to be denied permission to represent Iran in a triathlon unless she wore an approved outfit which was restrictive, hot and required a tent for changing. In a day and age where the majority of Western sports kits are figure-hugging and minimal, we helped Shirin reimagine her kit with thoughtful design and some of the coolest textiles available.

When Shirin approached us just three weeks before the ITU world championship race, she had ideas for a new sports outfit that was lightweight, breathable, and concealed her hair, skin and silhouette while she transitioned between activities in line with the Iranian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports’ modesty requirements.

We researched these requirements and worked together to explore different garment combinations that could be interchanged depending on the activity. Once we’d sourced technical textiles that were lightweight, breathable and suitable for printing, we created toiles (prototype garments), produced artwork, and constructed the final kit in a very short time frame.

The final kit, consisting of a printed cycling jersey and loose overshirt, enabled Shirin to change between activities without the use of a tent. Discussing her redesigned outfit, Shirin said, “They were comfortable, they looked awesome, they were easy to bike and run in and at no point in time did I wish I had a layer less.”

Shirin finally received permission to race on the morning of the event, a historic moment which marked her as the country’s first ever female triathlete to compete in the world championship.

Shirin’s achievement was greeted across social media platforms by supporters including Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani who tweeted, “Shirin Gerami,1st female triathlete to have participated in world championship wearing Iran’s colours #GenderEquality.”