AMYKARINE is a new independent label, specializing in textile design and luxury silk scarves. Here, the designers of the brand, Amy and Karine Brutijan, answer Life in Luxury’s Ten questions.
Tell us about AMYKARINE, how did you begin?
AMYKARINE is influenced by our background. We were born into a very creative family and raised in a household full of works by distinguished Armenian painters, which were carefully curated by our father. It is no surprise that we have been drawn to the arts and design since early childhood. We also had an 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 for all things original and innovative.
The scarf is the perfect item to showcase designs and patterns and to realise ideas related to textile design. A silk square is a statement accessory. Just like jewellery, it can boost confidence and change the overall style of an outfit. We personally love scarves, because they are great for accessorising and can be worn in so many different ways. We’re hardly ever seen out without a scarf, though styled differently each time depending on our mood or occasion.
If there’s one word that describes AMYKARINE as a brand, what would it be and why?
The best word to characterize AMYKARINE is “unique”. AMYKARINE is guided by the passion of creating beautiful pieces by blending art and fashion. We believe that accessories must be attractive to the eye and made with exceptional quality fabrics.
What should we know about wearing your scarves?
AMYKARINE scarves are the ideal choice for confident, hard-working, successful and elegant women with a subtle sense of beauty and style. They have a passion for all sorts of accessories – belts, shoes, jewellery. AMYKARINE woman is sophisticated, conscious of fashion but stays loyal to her own style. AMYKARINE scarves are rendered in vibrant colours, flattering both blondes, and brunettes. They fit perfectly well with mono-coloured shirts, jackets or dresses. They are also a great choice for those who like black, but avoid wearing it because it ages the face. AMYKARINE scarves can tweak and freshen any monochromatic look, so you can wear your favourite black, or charcoal ensemble and freshen it up with our amazing scarves.
What’s it like collaborating with your sister?
It’s absolutely amazing! One can hardly imagine what it is like, unless they have a twin sister or brother. We have always done everything together since childhood, and now working at AMYKARINE we spend more treasured time together. And we love it!
What’s your biggest source of inspiration?
We have travelled and lived in diverse metropolises, and taken inspiration from travelling and learning about the rich variety of cultures. We also take inspiration from music and literature. Our designs and 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 creates a fabulous 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 in music, literature and art.
How do you take an inspiration and turn it into a reality?
We have always liked painting, drawing, and making sculptures, before we started experimenting with textile design. We find inspiration in many ways, it depends on what’s in our world at the time when we are designing. We then discuss the overall style of the future collection and take the ideas into our sketchbooks. We may also play with colours just sitting next to each other and then, when we both like the outcome, we go on working at the particular pattern until it meets all our expectations. Then comes the sampling stage. Only the best pieces go into production.
What’s the inspiration behind your latest collection?
Our latest collection entitled Sonnet is inspired by English romantic poetry – the 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.
What’s on trend for 2015?
First of all, statement accessories – jewellery, bags, shoes and scarves, which add the final touch to the way a woman dresses; these are all about beauty and style. Also prints are everywhere, be it clothing or accessories. And they are varied, ranging from fruits to floral, paisley to pinstripes. Though digital photographic prints are interesting, the hand drawn images like the ones by AMYKARINE will outlive the digital trend.
What’s the next big step for AmyKarine?
It’s really exciting for a designer to know that your creations appeal to many different women from all over the world – from London and Paris to Delhi and Shanghai. And we are currently working at increasing brand awareness and sales, as well as working on our next collection. Still, our next big step is going to be a surprise to our fans.
Italy is famed for fashion, food and, of course, history.
In fact, Italy has the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites of any country in the world.
As other social needs have taken priority in economically turbulent times, however, the country’s budget for maintaining and restoring some of its greatest tourist attractions has been drastically reduced. While the Italian State Tourist Board said it couldn’t supply statistics,as much as a third of culture budgets (€1.42 billion/$1.83 billion) have been cut over the past three years, according to a September 2012 report in The Daily Beast.