United we can win


United we can win

Recently fashion industry became one of the EU SMEDA’s spheres of interest. In 2017 EU SMEDA supported a group of young Armenian designers for participating in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Days Kiev. Then The Fashion and Design Chamber of Armenia was initiated. Regional Post asked two members of the Chamber, designers Sona Hakobyan and Aram Nikolyan, about their impressions from the Kiev fashion event and expectations from this organization.


Text :  Lena Gevorgyan   

Photo : MAXIM GETMAN, Kamo Tovmasyan

Petoor, Biayni, Shabeeg



We needed the Chamber long ago, it just happened that no one in the industry had much time to think it through. So, it’s good that 12 of us went to the event in Kiev and there we had time to discuss it together and finally come up with the idea of the association.

It’s very important to work together. The problem is that Armenia itself as a country is not widely known abroad, and the term “Armenian designers” is known even less. So, united we must break that wall of ignorance, and find our niche in the world fashion, like it happened to Georgian and Lebanese designers. In the frames of the newly formed chamber we already have lots of interesting ideas and projects that need to be realized in the near future.

Shabeeg, LOOM Weaving, Biayni


In Armenian fashion industry we have lots of talented and devoted professionals, but I think that we still have a lot of place to grow to present ourselves to the world. And again, being united in the chamber will help with that too.

I hope that the chamber will help to make the market more active. The market is extremely important for this industry. You need customers and finance flows to build a strong industry. The other very important element is networking with the rest of the world. Elementary thing, sometimes a designer cannot find the materials he would like to use in his design, just because he lacks networking with the world. We already have huge plans for 2018 with a number of invited professionals from abroad, master classes, etc. All of these will make really big difference.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Days Kiev was the first time we were there altogether. Everyone had his own pop-up store, were we could show up to 15 pieces. It was an interesting format, which allowed us to show a spectrum of Armenian fashion industry and it really gained attention of buyers, journalists and professionals.

Z.G.EST, Petoor, Sončess



Any industry needs to be systemized. You can have lots of talented and gifted professionals, but without an organized system and a vision it won’t have significant results. It’s not an Armenian invention, such organizations are common in the world and all we do is following the global experience.

The Fashion and Design Chamber of Armenia is still very fresh, I can’t talk about the results now, but I’m sure it may change a lot in the industry.

Nelly Serobyan, Sončess, Z.G.EST


All of us would like to have an event like Mercedes-Benz Fashion Days Kiev in Yerevan too. But it shouldn’t be done just for the sake of doing. High quality fashion events have lots of criteria which are not reachable in Armenia now. One day we’ll have our own international fashion show here, but what we have to do is to develop the sector in general. We have to create our national signature in the world fashion, become recognizable. And this is were cooperating with EU SMEDA helps us a lot. I was so pleased when after we applied for support in order to participate in the Kiev event, that organization stood with us. You can try to do many things personally and even rich some heights, but for the whole industry on the national scale it is extremely important to have such partner organizations. And most importantly, Kiev Fashion Week was just a start of a bigger cooperation and partnership of Armenian designers and EU SMEDA.

For me personally it was very important and symbolic the fact that I presented there my collection dedicated to Sergey Parajanov who lived and worked many years there.

Armenian Designers Photoshoot in Kiev

Photographer: Maxim Getman

Models: Anastasiia Panchenko (K Models), Katrin Stratford (MZM Models)

MUA: Olya Mirnaya


11 Designers looks are: Vahan Khachatrayn “Biayni”, Aram Nikolyan, Inga Manukyan “LOOM Weaving”, Sona Sahakyan “Sončess”, Ruzanna Vardanyan “RUZANĒ”, Nelly Serobyan, Seda Manukyan “Atex”, Arusyak Poghosyan “Naghash”, Ani Mkrtchyan “Petoor”, “Z.G.EST” Alla Pavlova