A group of young men from Iraq are making the first step to challenge the traditional cultural attitudes using social media and style – meet Mr Erbil.
They are calling themselves Mr Erbil and their creativity and enthusiasm have made their style and approach to the modern lifestyle viral on social media.
Less than a year after Iraq’s first gentleman’s fashion club was born, it is easy to say that they have started a movement — and they’ve got the Instagram followers to prove it.
With more than 30 core members sharing the same taste in fashion, 34,000+ fans on Instagram and almost 10,000 on Facebook, Mr Erbil offers etiquette workshops, photography lessons, and a modelling agency.
Mr Erbil’s launch and first photoshoot last February quickly made waves on social media. What they are doing is mixing “modernity” and cultural heritage, by harking back to the lifestyles of the traditional Kurdish landowning class.
But it is not just about fashion – there is also a serious, almost political side.
Conflict and militancy might be the first thing that occurs to your mind when it comes to Iraq, but these young people are willing to help project a brighter, more optimistic image – and perhaps aid the social change in Iraq along the way.
The Mr. Erbil account frequently posts pictures about women’s issues in Kurdistan, Iraq and the world.
Every Thursday, Mr Erbil writes a post for #GirlInspiration, in which they promote women working on behalf of the community.
They promote female make-up artists, YouTube vloggers and passionate fashion stylists who are using their platforms to raise awareness about the socio-political issues in Iraq. As well as helping refugees, opening new libraries, and giving workshops to other female survivors from extremists.