Meet LOOM Weaving - Armenian Craftswomen
LOOM Weaving is named after the most renowned Armenian art - female artisans weaving carpets on large looms and giving their creations as dowry pieces and gifts. Founders and sisters Inga and Elen Manukyan have translated this centuries-old craft into the creation of knitwear, using their spiritual culture as inspiration for a totally new approach to a fashion collection.
What's your name?
My name is Inga Manukyan, and our brand is LOOM Weaving.
Where are you from?
Describe your signature design style in five words.
Natural, warm, feminine, handmade, comfortable.
What's your biggest source of inspiration?
Armenian culture, architecture, and its traditional mixture of handmade embroidery with modern styles and different color combinations.
Do you think true innovation in fashion is still possible?
Yes, innovation and creativity will never really end!
What role does the commercial aspect play for you? Does it limit your creativity?
Yes, naturally a little bit, since it's something that does need to be considered practically. However, I try really hard to not let it limit my creativity.
What other art forms inspire your collections?
Music, carpet weaving, and dance, among other art forms!
Do you prefer to follow or subvert trends?
I never blindly follow trends, but I do try to always stay informed of what's happening in the fashion world.
Do you thrive off of spontaneity or careful planning?
I am definitely more of a spontaneous creator due to my love of freedom, but when it comes to business, it does become important to plan everything.
How do you deal with creative blocks?
Sleep! Nighttime is the best creative aphrodisiac for me.
How do you think the fashion industry is going to change as automation takes over?
The prediction that automation will make humans redundant has been made many times, dating back to the Industrial Revolution when textile workers protested that machines would destroy their livelihoods. I think that the current transformations in technology will be a force for good as long as they're based on being socially responsible and sustainable.
Which fashion designer do you have the most respect for?
Elsa Schiaparelli – one of the most fashionable, outrageous, and stunning designers of the '30-'40s! Chanel offered the little black dress while Elsa shook the world with the color pink. I also like the fact that she started with knitwear, and moreover, her first collaboration was actually done with a famous Armenian lady.
Are your designs connected with or inspired by your heritage?
Definitely. I am very proud of my country and its fantastic cultural heritage which surrounds me everywhere, from its towns and cities to its natural landscapes to its literature, crafts, and food.
Did you undergo a formal design education?
Yes, I graduated from the Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts, Fashion and Textile Design. During my studies I was always inspired by the spiritual culture and uniqueness of Armenian carpet weaving. I wanted to bring back that tradition and integrate its ethnic lines and handmade techniques into modern trends in knitwear. It was only afterward in 2014 that my sister and I established LOOM Weaving!
What is your favorite thing to do outside of fashion?
I love to cook!
Check out Loom Weaving's new collections here.