Photo Courtesy Araks Yeramyan
Interview

ARAKS YERAMYAN

04.22.13

Araks Yeramyan of luxury label Araks is a New York-based lingerie and women’s ready-to-wear designer. The Parsons alumna attended Central Saint Martins School in London, interned at Marc Jacobs and went on to join the design team at J.Crew after graduation. In 2000, she launched the Araks Lingerie Collection, which gained a loyal celeb following and made a cameo in Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation.” In 2010, the designer introduced the first of her now notable look book collaborations, which feature images of friends and visionaries displaying Yeramyan’s lingerie in their own interpretation. Past contributors have included Richard Chai, Alexa Chung, Michelle Williams and Creatures of the Wind.

 

Interview

When did Araks initially launch? Was it with RTW? When was that added to the mix?

I launched the collection in 2000 with a few styles of cotton lingerie–Neiman Marcus was the first store to carry my line. I later expanded the collection to include silks, more novelty fabric and sleepwear. Along the way I added swim in 2003 and RTW in 2006, but took a break from both when I had children in 2007. I re-introduced RTW for Spring 2010 and am really excited about re-launching swim for Resort.

Did you study lingerie design?

I studied RTW at Parsons, but came up with the idea to launch a lingerie collection while working at J.Crew.

Was it a challenging transition?

Yes. Everything is amplified, literally–the number of styles, the number of fabrics, the number of fittings, etc. In RTW you can do anything, but in lingerie you’re more confined and have fewer options. Lingerie has to function more than anything else.

The line was born out of a desire for comfort. What is your garment of choice when lounging around the house?

An Araks organic ribbed tank top in white and cotton pajama pants.

Which items are most frequently purchased on your site?

The Antonia Bralett and Isabella Panty. These are the first styles I designed and are our best sellers to date. In RTW, it’s always button downs–it’s our masculine/feminine thing.

Where can the lingerie and RTW be purchased?

www.araks.com. www.avenue32.comwww.barneys.com, as well as smaller boutiques around the world. Some carry just lingerie or RTW, some carry both.

How does your price point define your customers?

The collection is designer, but we don’t design for a price point. We design for the Araks woman. She lives on our inspiration wall–we have a story about her that I reference every time I design.

Do you sell the swimsuits for J. Crew on your site?

No, it is exclusive to J.Crew. We will be launching Araks swim for Resort 2014, which will hit stores mid-October.

How did this collaboration come about?

I have always loved and worn J.Crew for as long as I can remember. It was my first job out of Parsons and was on my wish list of collaborations. When they called me about doing one, I immediately said yes. Together we decided to launch swim so we used our lingerie as inspiration and designed two styles.

What does fashion week mean for you? Is there a presentation or runway show for the lingerie and RTW collection each season?

We present our RTW collection during fashion week with a presentation for press and shoot our lookbook for the season. I love working with our team. We’ve all been working together for a few seasons–I love the synergy of working with different creative people and seeing how it all comes together. For lingerie, we do a look book where I invite my friends and other creative people I admire to participate. I give them a disposable camera and a set of lingerie. What comes back isn’t always perfect, but definitely a surprise. Some past contributors have included Michelle Williams, Susie Lau and Alexa Chung. We’re really excited about the next one, which will have a guest curator.

In what way has the exposure been different with the J. Crew collaboration in comparison to other press?

I was surprised–I got so many really sweet emails. So many people from my past reached out to congratulate me. I think it might have been the most exposure for the brand since “Lost In Translation.”

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