Sexy lingerie boom in Syria

“This isn’t underwear as your granny would know”

Since its appearance in the Syrian market a decade ago, the demand for sexy lingerie has exploded.

Al-Hamidiyeh Souk – a large commercial quarter – stands in the shadow of the most famous mosque of Damascus. Inside you can buy carpets, antiques, water pipes and musical instruments – all of which are traditional market goods.

However, these days something else is drawing in the customers. Most of the regulars are married women, like Shahed, and mothers bolstering their daughters’ dowries.

“The underwear is very important for my partner, and makes me feel like a woman,” Shahed says.

Behind this apparent empowerment is a very traditional impulse.

“When a woman gets married, the groom’s mother goes round her house and sees how she cooks, how she cleans, and whether she can please her man – and that’s where the lingerie comes in,” Hanadi Khateeb, Baladna lifestyle Magazine editor says.

Lingerie designer Ali Nasser crosses comic book Western sexuality with oriental kitsch. Nasser is unlikely to be mistaken for John Galliano, but looks can be deceptive.

“I always have my own ideas. The market moves so fast here, you always have to stay one step ahead,” he says.

Despite a fear of competitors spying on his work, Ali is eager to show off what he hopes will wow his customers next season .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *