խոսրով….or khosrov, is a brand that aims to provide artisanal and thoughtful items into your world. By melding the rich history of my Armenian heritage with a modern sensibility, a new perspective and palatte is conjured.
”I invite you into my reality, fueled by romance and fantasy. One where time goes a little bit slower and eden is just a stones throw away.”
Born and raised in Los Angeles, the designer began his journey working with Rodarté and later moving to London to complete his degree at the London College of Fashion; while there he worked with Gareth Pugh, Nick Knight and KTZ. Since launching his namesake brand, a rare and important name, he moved to Italy where he currently resides. Despite the language barrier, he is working with factories & artisans finding a common language of making beautiful and quality clothes. The Armenian-born designer uses tailoring and eroticism for his dystopian and layered clothes. He mixes the fantasy universe and the Armenian tradition with couture techniques to create unique layered garments. Tailoring and sustainable processes are the basis of all his collections.
Impressed by the designer’s ability to empower the importance of identity through Armenian heritage + dystopian clothes, we reached him for an exclusive interview:
INTERVIEW WITH KHOSROV x MODIC
Hello, welcome to MODIC Magazine, being born + raised in Los Angeles, with many years of experience in London, now based in Milan, share with us a few highlights about your journey and when was your first approach to fashion?
Firstly, thank you for the opportunity to speak about my work. Indeed, I’ve been a little all over but it’s been a fruitful journey through the past ten years. I think experiencing moments where you know you are living your dreams is really what the highlight is. Between the move to London and now Milan, each tiny era is filled with many different moments. I think mostly though, it’s made making these fantasies into realities far more tangible than ever.
And as far as a first approach to fashion…honestly, I’m not sure. It could have been seeing Troop Beverly Hills as a kid and the incredible costuming. The Galliano book I discovered at 13. Or we could count it from the first dress I made around 16 years old. This is just something that I’ve always known I’ve wanted to do.
We love your vision regarding modern sensibility around Armenian heritage. How aware are you of the fact that you are considered to be a cool designer making art pieces in a futuristic way? What is the message behind your brand and how do you expect people without a ‘voice’ to react?
I’m absolutely not aware if I can be honest. I’m just putting one foot in front of the other, making sure this ship carries on from one season into the next. I think it’s great that that is the image people are picking up on since that is definitely the intention. I hope that people react exactly as they have been. It’s been lovely to see how everyone has been responding to certain pieces over others.
The message behind the brand is somewhere between making sure you know your roots and respecting them, while also leaning into your inner-self and voice. The brand wouldn’t be “cool” if the vision was just traditional garments. It has to have an injection of modernness, sleekness, sex and mystery to really bring a new perspective to it.
Tell us more about your inspiration sources for the Fall-Winter 23/24 collection as visually has a strong impact. Walk us through your design process a little bit. Are there any pieces that are your favorite from this collection?
I was inspired so much by this move to Italy and how I could tie the histories of Armenian and Italy together, even if only a little bit. The zig-zag shapes between Armenian rugs and Venetian stones, the legend of San Miniato and the elegance of Italian dressing all were things that were mixed together. There’s many notes between these two cultures but what better language than to building your own.
The FW23 collection was really an exercise in identity building. I was so excited to make my mesh tops from my first collection in a knit variant. Developing existing styles into new versions was really fun. I tried to keep some elements from past seasons and not feel the pressure to design everything entirely new. It’s nice to start to build a foundation to work with as a brand. Having an emphasis on tailoring and well-made clothes is quite important for me so that was a big element as well. Lastly, pushing the embroidery and artisanal elements was super laborious but beautiful to realise.
KHOSROV Fall/Winter 23/24
It’s difficult to choose some favorites but I would have to say the Anni dress, the Deceit vest in its new orange tones, and the Kara leather coat. But in reality, there’s like four more I would add! The coin work on the Anahit bolero was insane to do. The grand embroidery on the back of the Albert dress, which took me two week to embroider, is also up there.
The best things are usually created when people follow their own vision rather than just pursuing success or money for its own sake. How challenging is the business part for you as a creative based in Milan?
The business part can be sometimes daunting, but a fun side of the industry to be learning. I’m absolutely more of the creative and I find the inner dealings to be a bit too tedious to be dealing with, but alas, becoming familiar with it is locked with the inherent nature of having your own business.
To be honest, maybe it’s the “American” in me, but you do have to factor in the reality that you need to cover both bases, creative & business. It’s nice to push your greater vision while also recognizing that you have to turn over some kind of profit to survive. It is the balancing act that is a tale as old as time, isn’t it?
How would you define the term “long-lasting” in fashion? How do you face challenges in such a complex industry?
Defining something that is long-lasting? That can be a couple of things. I mean you can have an idea or ethos that is long-lasting and legacy-giving. (i.e.: Vivienne Westwood, McQueen, etc). Alternatively, you can have couture or a talented personal tailor. This is no doubt the highest level in which you can buy clothing that will indeed last you for generations. But I think craftsmanship, is the word of commonality here. Craftsmanship is what will be the difference between obviously a top from a fast-fashion brand versus for example, one from my brand. The whole point of designing and making things for me ultimately, is to build wardrobes. That is why I moved my operations to Italy. When it comes to a well-made piece, Italians do it better.
KHOSROV Fall/Winter 23/24
How do you explore the needs of innovation and revolutionary changes through the fabrics when it comes to be worn by different personalities. What makes you satisfied? What makes you happy?
I like to keep most of my fabrics at a natural point, for example, I use a lot of silk, wool, alpaca, cotton, etc. These are materials we have used for centuries, and they’ve only gotten better with time and technology. They help me express myself in that they have such beautiful properties. The depth of color from the silks allows for so much range of emotions. The wools and more in the knits adds more texture and character as well. It boils down to storytelling at the end of the day. What makes me happy is what help strengthen the narrative of the story for both the brand as a whole and that of the season.
How has your education had an impact on your career? What advice would you give to the students today?
My education for sure had an impact on my career. It’s allowed me to be far more comfortable when speaking on and planning on the technical parts of developing the collections.
And as far as advice, this biggest thing I realised was that you just need to get up and do it. My tutors would always say, show me, don’t tell me. So, if you have an idea, go try it out. If it doesn’t work, take a break and then do it again. It’s important be proactive.
Is traveling regularly also an important aspect of your creative process?
If it’s feasible to travel for inspiration, of course, I would love to. I don’t absolutely need to, thanks to books and dare I say, Pinterest. It’s always best to go and see the place, do the thing, explore the subject matter in a more real-time manner. But again, it’s not always necessary considering we have that thing called an imagination!
KHOSROV Spring/Summer 2023
What’s your favorite project that you’ve worked on during your career?
I think just working on and growing each collection is the thing that’s been my favorite. I don’t have a specific project; it really is the bigger picture for me when I think about it. It’s quite cool to take a step back and see what you’ve done or made.
Name us a few creatives you would like to collaborate with.
I would say Jim Jarmusch, Nick Knight, Hunter Shafer, Gregg Araki, Szilveszter Makó.
What was the last place that really fascinated you?
The last place that really fascinated me…hmm…I’ve been rewatching the original Sailor Moon series, so I’d say her little world has been fascinating me.
A letter to your future self. What would you write?