Tala Raassi was just 16 when she was brutally beaten by the Basij, a hard-line Islamic militant group in Iran. The group, who consider themselves as defenders of Islam, found Tala dressed in a short skirt, tight top and wearing make-up and nail polish.
They also found at her friend’s home what they deemed inappropriate material, such as videos, satellite TV and posters from the show 90210.
The teenager, along with her friend, were brought to the Vozara detention centre in the Iranian capital of Iran, where the girls were beaten 40 times each.
Despite her family not being able to speak English, her family relocated to the US in 1998 where she has since established her own fashion line.
Despite her success, the 35-year-old says she has received some backlash over her job.
“There’s a lot of controversy because I’m a Muslim woman who designs bathing suits and everyone is very quick to judge.
They say, how dare you design bathing suits? How is it empowering? But it’s not about that. I design bathing suits because I love them, and that’s what I chose to pick in the fashion industry.
Freedom is not about what you put on or take off, it’s about having the choice to do so.”