INTERVIEW WITH AMYKARINE DESIGNERS – AMY AND KARINE BRUTIJAN – IN “URBAN COCO” MAGAZINE (UK)
AMYKARINE is a new independent label, specializing in textile design and luxury silk scarves. The designers of the brand Amy and Karine Brutijan, were born into a very creative family, with their father being a well-known Armenian writer and great grandfathers – a prominent musician and a renowned graphic artist. We have a chance to learn more about the brand…
Tell us the story behind the brand?
AMYKARINE is hugely influenced by our background. We were born into a very creative family, and raised in a household full of the works by distinguished Armenian painters, which were carefully collected by our father. And it is no surprise that we have been drawn to arts and design since early childhood. We also had interest in fashion and all sort of things you could wear. Establishing AMYKARINE came as a natural development of our creative drive, our passion for design, fashion, visual arts, and our love to all things original and innovative.
AMYKARINE is guided by the passion of creating beautiful pieces, by blending art and fashion, believing that accessories must be attractive to the eye and made in exceptional quality fabrics. The key is creativity and uniqueness, our scarves must look different to everyone else.
What’s the style of AMYKARINE woman?
Strong, confident, hard-working, successful, feminine, elegant, with subtle sense of beauty and style. She is a true lady, and has passion for all sorts of accessories – belts, shoes, jewellery. Her job can be in any sphere – from business and journalism to creative fields, she sets high standards for herself, and she aspires to the very best luxury things, which reflect her status, so she prefers very high quality timeless items. She is sophisticated, conscious of fashion, but not a fashion victim, who stays loyal to her own style. In addition, she enjoys luxury dining, good wine and opera.
What inspired your latest collection?
Our latest collection entitled Sonnet is inspired by the English romantic poetry – poems by Wordsworth, Shelley and Byron – the greatest classics of world literature, which, we are convinced, is easily understood anywhere in the world. Romanticism, a 19th century artistic and literary movement, which originated in Europe, was very strong in Britain, Germany and France, but also reached Spain, Latin America and North America. It produced great work and masterpieces in music, literature and fine art. So, our prints are inspired by the fusion of cultures, and never by a particular land, they never feature a culture-specific pattern. We believe that the fusion of cultures brings a fabulous, wonderful blend, especially when it comes to art and design. AMYKARINE is not an “ethnic” brand and its ethos is to transcend cultures and national boundaries with pieces inspired by world classics.
How important, you think, are accessories, especially scarves?
The scarf is the best item to show the designs and pattern and to realize the ideas related to textile design. A silk square is a statement accessory, which, just like jewellery, can boost confidence and change the overall style of the outfit. We personally love scarves, because scarves are great accessory and can be worn in so many different ways. We can hardly be seen going out not wearing a scarf, though each time styled differently depending on our mood or occasion. AMYKARINE scarves are timeless, classic accessories, which add that final touch and determine the style.
What has been your biggest success since launching the business?
It’s amazing that we started selling immediately, and received orders from international customers via our online boutique. It’s really exciting for a designer to know that your creations appeal to so many different women from various places – from London and Paris to Delhi and Shanghai.
What’s the most popular scarf that you sell?
Fairy Tale Wine Rose is very popular among our customers, which is easily explained by its colour, flattering both blondes, and brunettes. It fits perfectly well with mono-coloured shirts, jackets or dresses. It is also a great choice for those who like black colour, but avoid wearing black, because it ages the face. This scarf can tweak and freshen any monochromatic look, so you can wear your favourite black, or charcoal ensemble and freshen it up by this amazing scarf.
Is there anything you would do differently?
We have a rule in life – never to regret and never look back and remember only good things in life. Our mistakes are the lessons we learned, because one learns not from success, but from failure. Life is too short and too complicated to regret and think about doing things differently. We also remember a remark of Albert Einstein: “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
What advice would you offer to other people thinking about launching their own business?
Be flexible, know your market, stand out among competitors, build a strong and reliable team. But most importantly, be ready to devote all your time, energy, your soul to the new business. Be ready to take risks and face many challenges, but stay true to yourself, your style and your sense of aesthetic. In addition, product quality and excellent customer service should be the main focus of all your efforts.
Where can people find out more?
AMYKARINE has launched a website and online boutique at www.amykarine.com
You can also follow us on twitter @AMYKARINE and Facebook
INTERVIEW OF AMYKARINE DESIGNERS – AMY AND KARINE BRUTIJAN – TO “YOUR COFFEE BREAK” MAGAZINE (UK)
1.Why have you travelled so much in your lives?Travelling is a result of our inborn creativity, natural inquisitiveness, intellectual curiosity, a desire to find out more about the world we live in, and a quest for new experiences, of very varied interests we have always had, ranging from art and fashion to social and political sciences. So, as a result, we are very open to ideas and cultures, and inspired by so many things.
2.Where is your favourite place in the world and why? Each place we have been to, lived and experienced, has its place in our hearts, with memories and unforgettable experience, with meeting interesting people. Big cities have special fascination for us – London, Paris, New York, Moscow, with their pace of life, so many opportunities, both in terms of business, and entertainment and cultural events. But we also enjoy spending time closer to nature – there are so many amazing places in the world, which can be very revitalising and inspirational. Our advice is: if you have an opportunity, travel to a new place where you haven’t been to before, at least once a year.
3.What are the biggest differences you’ve noticed in the way people dress around the world? This question has too many aspects, as one can speak about street fashion, which can be very varied indeed, or about culturally or religiously determined differences. There are also widely held stereotypes about the way people dress in this or that particular country. So, one can say that London is known for best quality classic style, bespoke tailored outfit, Paris – classic, more feminine style with greater attention to accessories, in the USA women dresses are in general much brighter and varied in colour, printed fabrics are very popular, and in Germany and Austria the best looks are in solid block colours. Though these are very simplified ideas/images of the way people dress in those countries, as you can find any of the styles mentioned in any of these places.
4. And are there any similarities that you’ve seen? Professional women anywhere in the world appreciate the same things – high quality, perfect tailoring, natural fabrics, clean lines and strict silhouettes. And, of course, great accessories, which can be used for self-expression. Professional women should always look chic and their looks should reflect their status and the fact that they are good at dealing with business and financial matters and that they are confident, reliable, trustworthy. And luxury high quality accessories are must-have for anyone.
5. Personally, which country / city do you think has the best style? We believe that every woman should follow the principle that great style is the style that is truly her own! We enjoy classic chic, and contemporary luxury style. We are also convinced that it is crucial to be dressed appropriately to the occasion, and also not to underestimate the importance of accessories.
6.You are artists; why put your work on scarves rather than any other item of clothing? The scarf is an ideal item to realize the ideas related to textile design and to show patterns. We personally love scarves, because a scarf is a great accessory, they can be worn in so many different ways. And they can reflect the mood and give you a very special feeling. We also find the silk carre square a statement accessory, which, just like jewellery, can boost confidence and change the overall style of the outfit. Moreover, women in all parts of the world, from Paris and Vienna to Shanghai and Delhi, enjoy wearing scarves. A chic silk scarf can be a statement accessory, and a confidence booster to help the career. Even when you don’t wear it around the neck, you can still knot it onto your bag, and it will still make a difference to the overall look.
7. What makes your scarves/artworks able to transcend different national languages and styles? Our mixed backgrounds – being of Armenian origins, we travelled, studied and lived in diverse metropolises ranging from London and Moscow to Paris and Vienna – hugely influenced our designs and the philosophy of our brand. We believe that the fusion of cultures brings a fabulous, wonderful blend, especially when it comes to art and design. Our scarves are inspired by classic literature, poetry, music and art, which are understood anywhere in the world. Our prints are inspired by the fusion of cultures, and never by a particular land, they never feature a culture-specific pattern. We are true cosmopolitan people, we believe that true art, design and fashion can overcome national boundaries and unite people around the world.
8.What inspired your latest collection Sonnet? The collection is inspired by English romantic poetry – poems by Wordsworth, Shelley and Byron – the greatest classics of world literature, which, we are convinced, is easily understood anywhere in the world. Romanticism is a 19th century artistic and literary movement, which originated in Europe, was very strong in Britain, Germany and France, but also reached Spain, Russia, Latin America and North America. It produced great work and masterpieces in music (Verdi, Berlioz, Wagner, Liszt, Schumann, Mendelssohn), literature (Goethe, Fichte and Schelling in Germany; Duma, Hugo, Stendal in France; Pushkin, Lermontov in Russia) and fine art (William Turner in Britain, Delacroix in France, Goya in Spain, Ivan Aivazovsky in Russia).
9. You say that the designs unleash unexpected combinations of colour and pattern; where does the inspiration for these come from? Are you swayed by current trends or is it something bigger than that? We see our scarves as timeless, classic accessories, so we tend to apply more of our creative vision, rather than follow changing trends. Though we personally enjoy discovering fashion trends, AMYKARINE reflects more of our aesthetic and artistic vision, and when choosing the colours, we tend to think more of what we would like to wear ourselves.
10. Why are there only 77 of each piece? The philosophy of the brand is creativity and uniqueness and our collections are not intended for mass market. We want our scarves to be truly exclusive pieces. “7” is a magic number – there are 7 days of the week, 7 colours of the rainbow, 7 notes on a musical scale, 7 sees and 7 continents. It is the most significant number across religions and cultures. And as the ethos of our brand is to transcend cultures and nationalities, we chose “7” as lucky number for people across the globe.
11. Do you see your scarves as practicalities or art? Or both? Both, a luxury scarf is a statement accessory, it is about beauty and style. It adds the final touch to the way a woman dresses, it is the signature. And it is an art form as well, because when we create the prints, we act like artists – the picture always comes from our imagination, it is a fantasy, we first draw the image with a pencil, then fill it with colours, often watercolours are used, and the final scarf becomes a true “wearable art”.
12. Who is the AMYKARINE woman? What is her style, where does she go, what does she do? Strong, confident, hard-working, successful, feminine, elegant, with subtle sense of beauty and style, a true lady, who has passion for all sorts of accessories – belts, shoes, jewellery. Her job can be in any sphere – from business and journalism to creative fields, she sets high standards for herself, and she aspires to the very best luxury things, which reflect her status, so she prefers very high quality timeless items, doesn’t follow changing trends and stays loyal to her style. In addition, she enjoys luxury dining, fine wines and opera.
13. Should we be thinking about a scarf the same way we do our necklace / rings – as a vital accessory that makes our outfit? Certainly. We personally are true lovers of scarves and can hardly be seen going out not wearing a scarf, though each time styled differently depending on our mood or occasion. Scarves are timeless and classic printed scarves are created regardless of fading trends, they always look stylish.
14. How many different ways are there to wear our AMYKARINE scarf? Scarves are amazing in how many different ways of styling you can experiment with. They can give you a touch of colour, and brighten up basic clothing. We advise to choose the scarf, which matches the colour of your hair, eyes and skin. Also, the scarf should be either a little brighter or a little darker than the main dress or shirt, or jacket, so that it has a contrasting colour. Alternatively, you can choose a matching color as an enhancing touch. One of our favourite styles is the classical wide triangle over your chest. For an elegant look it can also be tied into a bow.
15. By your own admission AMYKARINE scarves can be very bold; should we wear a simple outfit to let our scarf do the talking or should the rest of our outfit be just as strong? The scarves fit perfectly well with mono-coloured shirts, jackets or dresses, though skirts and trousers in the ensemble can be in a different colour. A multi-colour scarf is also a great choice for those who like black colour, but avoid wearing black, because of it ages the face. A bright scarf can tweak and freshen any monochromatic look, so you can wear your favourite black, or charcoal, dark brown or dark blue ensemble and freshen it up by a lighter scarf.
16. Our readers are professional women who may well have to travel a lot with their job, so, apart from an AMYKARINE scarf, what are your travel essentials? Apart from office outfit, or an outfit for conferences/business meetings, when travelling, a small black dress and a chic leather clutch are must-have items, plus a pair of heels.
17. And do you have any tips for surviving long haul flights? Yes, as we travel a lot – we always wear a very comfortable outfit for the plane, take a cashmere shawl, a facial skin moisturizer, which makes skin look fresh after long-haul flights.
Start you journey wearing AMYKARINE luxury silks and stay classy!
INTERVIEW WITH AMYKARINE DESIGNERS IN “ECLECTIC SOCIETY” MAGAZINE (UK)
Strong yet Feminine: Meet the Scarf Designers behind AMYKARINE
Amy and Karine Brutijan are the designers of the AMYKARINE. Of Armenian background, the siblings were born into a family with deep artistic roots, with their father being a famous Armenian writer, and great grandfathers – a prominent musician and a renowned graphic artist. The sisters traveled and lived in diverse metropolises, ranging from Moscow and London, to Paris and Vienna, and this is reflected in their artworks, which are beyond any national style and speak the language understood everywhere. Beyond design, what attracted us to the brand, was their ethos as the scarves are ethically manufactured in England following the principle of eco-sustainable production. Here we got a chance to meet the designer duo.
Did you have a style icon growing up?
Our style icon has always been our mother with her subtle sense of beauty and style. She has always been wearing elegant and beautiful dresses and has had passion for all sorts of accessories – belts, shoes, jewellery. So, she influenced our idea of beauty and it’s no surprise that the woman of AMYKARINE is very elegant, chic, strong, and at the same time romantic and feminine.
How would you describe London’s fashion?
When it comes to fashion, London is a fascinating place and the best place in the world for a designer, it’s a true creative lab: many prestigious art schools, rich breadth of design talent, new fresh and creative designers. For us London means freedom: it’s only here that one can see such a stunning range of styles and eclectic fashion, a blend of diverse cultures and freedom of self-expression. So, London is a fantastic place and everlasting source of artistic inspiration.
Tell us about your inspiration for AMYKARINE/ Autumn Winter 2014?
The collection can be described/characterised as contemporary luxury, it features both classic carré style scarves, as well as trendy oversized chiffon squares. It is called “Sonnet”, because it is inspired by romantic poetry and its emphasis on the glory and beauty of nature, by fairy tales and dreamy world of fantasy animals and creatures, by all things kind, which give us hope and love. That’s why our collections are always beyond any national style and speak the language understood everywhere – the language of true beauty and creativity.
What would be the soundtrack of your collection, from conceptualizing to presentation?
We find a violin version of Bach’s Toccata & Fugue performed by Vanessa Mae a perfect soundtrack for our collection, which would stress its core character – classic with modern original interpretation.
Finally, tell us a little secret.
We both are true perfectionists, very attentive to the tiniest detail of our work, and set high standards of performance for ourselves.
About the Brand: AMYKARINE is a new independent label specialising in creating unique textile designs and luxury fashion accessories. All items are limited edition pieces made of 100% natural textiles and ethically manufactured in England following the principle of eco-sustainable production. AMYKARINE collections are created using a mixture of art techniques –hand-painted and hand-drawn colourful illustrations which are then transferred onto the 100% natural carefully selected silk fabrics on a pure ecological basis.With the sophisticated fusion of fashion and art, AMYKARINE creations unleash unexpected combinations of colours and unique designs, reflecting undeniable energy. The style of AMYKARINE can be singularly identified – exclusive design and beautiful patterns, fantastic colours, as well as hand-crafted hems mark every single piece by AMYKARINE. All items are Limited edition foulards, made in England, and come with a signature AMYKARINE packaging.