Cityzen by Azin

Architect Azin Valy created street chic dresses, bags, and scarves that incorporate aerial views of cities around the world.

Can urban planning translate into street chic? The architect Azin Valy, co-founder of New York’s award-winning I-Beam Design firm, thinks so. She created a new fashion line from research she did for an exhibition on urban planning for the Museum of Modern Art; the far-ranging collection of dresses, bags, and scarves incorporate aerial views of cities around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Paris, Dhaka, Bangkok, Tokyo, and Tehran.

The George Washington Bridge becomes a strategically placed strap on the fiery-hued New York dress, while the desert palette of Tehran covers a handsome overnight bag. Some designs (the sinuous curve of the Seine on the map of Paris, the restrained night-sky elegance of the Europe cocktail dress) are more successful than others as actual clothing (the blotchy purples and blues of the Hong Kong rayon jersey design are unflattering on any figure).

But Valy also has higher aspirations for her work -- she wants the Cityzen by Azin collection to transcend fashion and geographical borders, and uses each city’s design to draw attention to and pair support with hand-picked nonprofit and relief organizations: Chicago’s Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund, which provides high school scholarship assistance to economically disadvantaged students; Tokyo’s Architecture for Humanity, which is rebuilding tsunami-ravaged areas; Cairo’s Stabl Antar Dream, an education project in the Stabl Antar slum. Cityzen is currently highlighting the charities, with the goal of supporting the causes financially once the company grows.

Though Valy just launched the line earlier this year, she’s had some notable attention already in getting the message out. She presented the Chicago dress to Michelle Obama; Arianna Huffington is a fan of the Rome scarf; Iranian-American writer and commentator Hooman Majd carries the Tehran bag; and Grammy-winning musician Esperanza Spalding wears the New York and London designs in concert. Through the website, customers can suggest a city for the next design. Up next: more affordable pieces, and a clothing line for men and children.

All photos courtesy of Cityzen by Azin.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A person tapes an eviction notice to the door of an apartment.
    Equity

    Why Landlords File for Eviction (Hint: It’s Usually Not to Evict)

    Most of the time, a new study finds, landlords file for eviction because it tilts the power dynamic in their favor—not because they want to eject their tenants.

  2. At an NBA game, a player attempts to block a player from the rival team who has the ball.
    Life

    NBA Free Agents Cluster in Superstar Cities, Too

    Pro basketball follows the winner-take-all geography of America as a whole, with free agents gravitating to New York, L.A., and other big cities.

  3. photo of Arizona governor Doug Ducey
    Perspective

    Why FOMO Is the Enemy of Good Urban Mobility Policy

    Fear of Missing Out does not make good transportation policy. Sometimes a new bus shelter is a better investment than flashy new technology.

  4. a photo collage of 2020 presidential candidates.
    Equity

    Will Housing Swing the 2020 Election?

    Among Democratic candidates for president, the politics of America’s housing affordability crisis are getting complicated. Just wait until Trump barges in.

  5. A cat lays flat on a bench at a park on the outskirts of Tokyo.
    Life

    Why Don't Americans Use Their Parks at Night?

    Most cities aren’t fond of letting people use parks after dark. But there are good lifestyle, environmental, and safety reasons to reconsider.

×