Each year, global red carpet events take over trending charts for the glitziest, most glamorous outfits seen on the world’s best dressed women. But along with sartorial highlights, major events like the Met Gala, the Oscars, and Cannes Film Festival also give celebrities a chance to make striking statements that go beyond fashion, and touch upon humanitarian concerns.
This year, Cannes Film Festival has started with a bang, and the Arab world has seen some of its most loved women dominate the red carpet already, from Mona Zaki in a shaded Zuhair Murad gown, to Razane Jammal in pristine white and Maya Diab in a sultry black look. Among them, another familiar face that cannot go missed is that of Farnoush Hamidian. In case you missed it, the Iranian model appeared on the red carpet dressed in a beautiful semi-sheer Georges Hobeika number. But it was the little temporary tattoo on her shoulder that had the world sitting up and zooming in to her new pictures.
Spelling out three simple words, “Woman, Life, Freedom,” Farnoush’s shoulder blade tattoo stands for the battle thousands of women are currently fighting in the region and beyond. The slogan was birthed in September 2022 following the brutal death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of Iran’s “hijab police”. The heartbreaking case caused an uproar that rippled across the world, and was further amplified by noteworthy public figures including Meghan Markle, who made a public appearance later that year wearing a T-shirt with the powerful slogan printed on it in Farsi.
Though the news updates related to Mahsa Amini’s death—and the many deaths of those who have risen up against the stringent laws in Iran—have subsided of late, Farnoush Hamidian, who opened up about being raped as a child by Iranian intelligence officers with Vogue Arabia in our December 2022 issue, took the opportunity of being at Cannes to give the world a reminder that the tragic situation in Iran is far from over. Beneath her sparkling designer gown and statement earrings, the model stood proud on the red carpet in solidarity with every woman who has cried out “Zan zindgi azadi”.
Below, a closer look at Farnoush Hamidian’s bold look.