Due to decades of economic sanctions, the market for haute couture and beauty and makeup products in Iran has gone almost entirely untapped over the years. But that’s all about to change now that those sanctions are being lifted in the wake of the historic nuclear agreement signed last year. Iran’s government believes the luxury fashion, beauty and cosmetics sectors could be a $4 billion a year market. Even though women in Iran are expected to dress modestly and are mandated to wear the headscarf, many of them take their beauty and makeup products and fashion brands very seriously. For a bellwether of what’s to come, look no further than Dubai. The neighboring country is a popular vacation spot for Iranians, and Negin Fattahi-Dasmal, a businesswoman who owns a chic chain of nail salons, says women from Iran flock to her salons. “For Iranian women it’s a sought-after brand,” Fattahi-Dasmal, an Iranian-born Emirati, told Reuters about her chain, N. Bar, where customers can also purchase authentic products. “There have been a lot of counterfeit products in Iran. They are extremely hungry for anything that is real, genuine and imported from the West.” Fattahi-Dasmal is so convinced of Iranian women’s interest in fashion and beauty that she recently opened up an N. Bar salon in Tehran. The shop was met with a mix of excitement and skepticism, and as Fattahi-Dasmal, the cultural expectations aren’t the only variable that must be navigated in what is essentially a new frontier for business.
Read the full story at Reuters.