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Six of Marvel's lead­ing ladies are back to !ght for fash­ion's top spot

U Magazine - - CONTENTS - By AYY­OUB TAMS

Ar­me­nian jew­elry de­signer Ar­man Sark­isyan talks her­itage, fam­ily and craft.

In a world lost in a whirl­wind of mod­ern may­hem, award-win­ning jew­elry de­signer Ar­man Sark­isyan has re­stored the true mean­ing of the word cra(sman­ship. With a rich back­ground in the in­tri­cate art of jew­elry mak­ing, stem­ming from ob­serv­ing his fa­ther – master jeweler Ham­let Sark­isyan whose ca­reer spanned over half a cen­tury – young Ar­man em­pow­ered his tal­ent with the !nest skills that would one day shape his artistry and de!ne his sta­tus in the world of jew­elry de­sign. 30 years in the in­dus­try, this Los An­ge­les-based ar­ti­san has been de­sign­ing im­mac­u­late cre­ations that speak to the soul in a lan­guage of pure aes­thet­ics. U: Give us a lit­tle back­ground about your­self. I was born in Ar­me­nia and lived there un­til the age of 18 be­fore mov­ing to Los An­ge­les. Jew­elry played an in­te­gral role in my child­hood. From as young as I can re­mem­ber, I would sit on my fa­ther’s bench and watch him cre­ate. Even­tu­ally jew­elry be­came an out­let for me to ex­press my own in­spi­ra­tion and imag­i­na­tion.

AS:

U: Tell us more about your re­la­tion­ship with your fa­ther. AS: My fa­ther is my men­tor – the man who en­cour­aged my cra( from a young age. We work side by side in our stu­dio ev­ery day, which is ideal be­cause I am con­stantly learn­ing from him. Even a(er 30 years be­hind the bench, there is al­ways some­thing new to dis­cover. U: What were your as­pi­ra­tions as a young man? AS: It all started nat­u­rally be­ing a son of a master jeweler, and now it is truly a dream come true to do what I do. U: How did you come to re­al­ize your tal­ent? AS: Of course grow­ing up in a cre­atively nur­tur­ing en­vi­ron­ment and be­ing ex­posed to the work­shop, to play and cre­ate, I knew from an early age that this is my call­ing. U: Your bio states that you live in a “house full of artists and thinkers.” Tell us more about that. AS: My wife, Louiza Babouryan is a tal­ented fash­ion de­signer; her col­lec­tion is fea­tured in premier bou­tiques around the world. Our

chil­dren are artists in their own right. My son Emil plays com­pet­i­tive chess and my daugh­ter Lia is a fan­tas­tic singer. #e four of us share a sim­i­lar aes­thetic and love for art, food and mu­sic. U: Your cre­ations bring to mind a sense of an an­cient “Eastern Euro­pean” fairy­tale. How does your Ar­me­nian her­itage play a role in that? AS: My up­bring­ing and love for my coun­try sub­con­sciously play a big role in my de­sign process. Ar­me­nia is a beau­ti­ful coun­try with rich history, and it’s an end­less source of in­spi­ra­tion for me. U: What inspires you? And who is your ul­ti­mate muse? AS: My wife is my muse; her beauty and cre­ativ­ity in­spire me con­stantly. U: Tell us about the de­sign process. AS: My de­sign process varies, for in­stance, a lot of times a gem­stone dic­tates the out­come with the help of my imag­i­na­tion, while some­times its starts with the sketch that in­volves !nd­ing and cut­ting a gem­stone to achieve what I have en­vi­sioned. U: As an award win­ning jew­elry de­signer, what quenches your thirst for ex­cel­lence in cre­ativ­ity? AS: I love to be chal­lenged, the more in­tri­cate and di$cult the de­sign, the more inspired I be­come. I thor­oughly en­joy work­ing on chal­leng­ing projects, and !nd my­self un­able to stop un­til the piece is com­pleted to per­fec­tion. U: How o$en do you re­lease new col­lec­tions? AS: I don’t have ded­i­cated col­lec­tion names or re­lease dates. I’m con­stantly cra(ing new pieces and adding to the col­lec­tion. U: What is your fa­vorite gem? AS: I love tour­ma­line for its tan­ta­liz­ing range of color. Of all the col­ors, my fa­vorite is in­di­co­l­ite blue. I buy ev­ery beau­ti­ful piece I can !nd! U: What are the es­sen­tial qual­i­ties of a jew­elry de­signer? AS: #e jew­elry de­sign­ers that I ad­mire are con­stantly in­no­vat­ing, push­ing the lev­els of their cre­ativ­ity through de­sign, medium and ma­te­ri­als. To me, a de­signer is truly great if he or she can con­tinue to im­press. U: What ad­vice would you give your 20-year old self? AS: I would tell my­self to stay the course, no mat­ter how di$cult and frus­trat­ing it can get. Con­tinue to work hard and al­ways be the best at what you do. U: What’s in store for us? What can we ex­pect #om Ar­man Sark­isyan? AS: I have been play­ing with plat­inum, and I plan to un­veil it in early 2016.

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