Number One

Keyvan due to his liberal convictions despite his very influential family did not want to be part of a system he did not approve. But he believed there was other artistic, cultural or social contribution regardless the nature of a regime that is a duty for all specially artists. He never stopped encouraging architects in order to refuse all compromise it is better to use other talents for financial purposes and focus on quality rather than quantity in architecture. As clothing for younger generation was a sector not exploited in good quality seemed useful for a society with a young generation eager considering good taste clothing a necessary fact.

He created the first modern prêt-a-porter boutique in 27 Rasht Street in Tehran as Elegant 27. The financial partnership with Kamran Diba another young architect who had his office and Rasht Club in the same building ended after six month. Keyvan was almost about to leave his homeland, but the encouragement of all young salesmen who left Elegant 27 made him to create the famous boutique “Number One” in Sanieddoleh Street [continuation of Soraya street] in Tehran on February 1967.

All his collections were with local fabrics and materials with affordable prices. As the workshops were independent Keyvan tried to keep them busy with full capacity in order to keep his designs safe. This permitted him to earn on important number items sold and hens with lower price affordable by young clients ready to learn how to dress properly with good taste.

Unfortunately the animosity of the system did not wait and “Number One” was the first target of the regime fighting high price all over the country and by a humiliating manner the window was covered with a canvas condemnatory verdict of two weeks closure and fine. Improvised visits of young students as semi Pasdaran continued resulting more denouncements and court orders for more fines without any right of defence. Plus the state refused to renew registration “Number One” already a registered name in 1966 for no reason! Keyvan kept quiet as he thought under any dictatorship the worst move is to give in to the hands of the torturers of the system. Now all understand that despite the façade the bitter memories will not fade easily. This treatment never even surprised the last empress Farah Pahlavi who never thanked Keyvan verbally or financially for thirteen years of efforts promoting Iranian crafts creating a unique royal wardrobe of a remarkable haute couture for the first or maybe the last time in Iran.

Unfortunately not much documents are available from his famous boutique “Number One” and only some in this gallery were published in foreign magazines. Curiously the Empress here is wearing a green velvet jacket from the male collection of “Number One”, buttoning from left on right. The princes and Keyvan are wearing black-tie shirts embroidered in Baluchestan designed in 1967. The long jacket with Baluchi embroideries designed and worn by Keyvan was published in American Vogue of December 1970.

The first ever T-shirt signed Tehran is seen here designed in 1966 and was very popular during the period of London’s “King’s Road” fashion movement worn by young Iranians with pride. For certain those were the days!