He’s always had a sense of style. For instance, Mashhedi was recently sporting a black Yohji Yamamoto trousers and rocking the socks-with-sandals look with a triple-strap Jil Sander model and dark grey Merino tubes. Agha, in an Illustrated Example shirt, self-describes as a little more “street.”
Modeste was started by Mashhedi’s style-conscious wife, Aicha Chtourou, and her mom, Hong Taing. Like many young Montrealers, Chtourou liked shopping at H&M and Zara.
Chtourou then sought to make the clothes more suitable for her modest aesthetic, in line with her religious custom. So she’d have her seamstress mother add lining to sheer fabric or close a skirt slit.
Taing, who escaped the Cambodian genocide in the 1970s, has been sewing for decades.
Taking a risk
Three years ago, the mom-and-daughter team started to sell their own designs online. Then Mashhedi got a job with engineering firm SNC Lavalin in Edmonton. Chtourou moved with him but returned frequently to Montreal for the business.