There is no median for me: either the best or nothing

ArtsakhInfo. Years ago when she, without telling anybody, submitted her admission documents to the newly-opened art institute as an artist, she didn’t even imagine that her life would once and forever be linked to the world of clothing. Today there is no poster on the doors to her modest workshop, the curtain inside is hung in a manner that nothing can be seen there as she is so busy with her numerous orders that no extra ones can be accepted at the time.

Anahit Mnatsakanyan is a fashion designer, artist and stylist by education; however, due to circumstances she became a tailor-modeler. She creates perfect evening dresses due to her design skills. She is currently working on her new collection, “Anahit”, which is due to be presented to the Armenian fashion world in late February. The project is funded by the “Awesome” Foundation and aims to promote the production of Armenian clothing. Anahit is one of three designers from Artsakh involved in the project.

“For about 10 years since my marriage I had been locked at home, not even meeting my close relatives, not even going to the store, feeling very depressed. Nevertheless, I had been remaking clothes for my family members, when needed. Slowly, I switched from remaking to sewing clothes at home. I remember, one day a lady said if I could sew a skirt of a certain type. I smiled. Of course, I could. Then her colleagues ordered several pieces of the same skirt”.

Anahit teaches “European Fashion History” and “Fashion Construction” in the Gyurjyan Institute of Applied Arts.

“They invited me about 15 years ago, but I rejected, as my children were small, and the salary was so low that I could earn much more with my tailoring. Soon there was a period when the daily commute of a few meters from my house to the workshop dressed in my home clothes began to choke me. It was then that I accepted the next invitation to teach, which seemed to me an opportunity to perfect myself”.

The designer confesses that there is no median for her: either the best or nothing. Every decision she makes, she does only with her conscience. Anahit has principles she never breaks. For instance, she never takes money for the clothes of soldiers from Armenia. She says:

“It is my principle, if I break it, I will not sleep at night”.

Anahit entered the world of fashion extemporaneously. She intended to become a specialist of the English language. But she tells that when her grandmother, who was a mathematics teacher, was sewing various interesting clothes for her and her four sisters, she was watching closely, trying to understand how her grandmother managed to get those curved cuts. Anahit’s daughter has chosen her mother’s specialization as well and possibly it will become a family business. A girl, curious about her grandmother’s works, now is one of the best tailors in the town, according to many.

“My evening dresses are tailored by Anahit. First, I consult with her on the fabric, then on the design, and no matter how much I like the design, I don't make a final decision without Anahit's advice”, says Gohar, Anahit's permanent client.

The tailor-modeler always explains the difference between the seams to her clients, that is, in which cases this or that seam can be done, in which they cannot.

“My sisters tell me that nobody is interested in that, advising not to tell those details, but I always do it. A few days ago we went to see a doctor and she explained thoroughly all the intricacies of the problems related to child’s breathing. I was very pleased, as I saw me in her; it means there are people like me. "

Anahit dreams of expanding her small workshop and searches for trusted business partners who will invest around AMD 10 million. It will enable to expand her business, import fabric, create her own models, and have several employees. If there is such an opportunity, she can definitely create differing beautiful wedding dresses, high-end evening dresses, even for Hollywood stars parading up the red carpet.