Last week, I embarked on two flights headed for Armenia. The reason? The first edition of Yerevan Fashion Week!

Upon receiving the invitation, I must admit I was quite thrilled, not only because it was my first time visiting this country, but also because of my unfamiliarity with Armenian fashion and designers.

Upon arrival, I found myself in a city adorned with pink and terracotta-colored buildings, a blend of Soviet architecture and Armenian influences, yet with a familiar vibe that could even be described as somewhat European. The streets were bustling with people and delightful stalls offering fruits and flowers. After a first day exploring the main touristic attractions, it was time to discover the 22 collections presented by local designers, some of whom were debuting not only their first full collection but also showcasing it on a runway for the first time.

It is quite astonishing that for a first edition, this fashion week featured 22 shows, along with a showroom and other events on the calendar. Vahan Khachatryan, the President of the Fashion & Design Chamber of Armenia and Yerevan Fashion Week, confessed that they did not expect such a reception, receiving over 80 proposals for runway presentations. He also mentioned the challenges they faced in organizing this first edition, not only in terms of the necessary budget but also in handling all the aspects of professionally producing an event of this magnitude. Nevertheless, they managed to create a pioneering event with promising prospects for the future. We were not alone in Yerevan. The event attracted editors from various parts of the world, representing magazines such as Vogue Italy, Wear UK, ELLE Italy, Marie Claire Arabia, Lemile Germany, FAULT Magazine, L’Officiel, BURO, Madame Figaro, Jamalouki Magazine, and many others. The presence of the international press undoubtedly contributes to the exposure of Armenian designers, giving them an opportunity to transcend their borders and expand their business prospects.

As expected, the majority of the shows focused on womenswear. However, some brands featured male models, and a few even opted for predominantly masculine looks. Platon FF showcased an urban proposal where tailoring appeared relaxed and cool; Seda Manukyan presented an entirely black collection, with knitwear pieces taking the spotlight; HGP took us down memory lane, recapturing drawings from the designer’s childhood in Syria and incorporating them into modern yet relaxed cuts, showcasing a confident and stylish man; Volta was the great surprise for me, with a collection that blended masculine elements with a touch of femininity and even a queer aesthetic—an impressive feat considering it was a menswear collection designed by a Lebanese designer and showcased on an Armenian runway. Finally, LOOM Weaving displayed exceptional craftsmanship and the use of quality materials in their knitwear garments, which I would have loved to try on if it weren’t for the summer heat in Yerevan.

The significance of all this lies in the fact that it was only the first edition, and what truly matters is the likelihood of a second, a third, and many more to come. The work being carried out by Vahan Khachatryan, Elen Manukyan, and the entire Yerevan Fashion Week team is to secure a place for Armenian talent, to educate and promote the consumption of local fashion in a country that may be unaware of its potential. Armenian wine, cuisine, and architecture have already become well-known among the local community. Now, the first step has been taken for young Armenian designers to share their creativity with their country and even with those beyond its borders.

Check below some of my favorite menswear looks from the first edition of Yerevan Fashion Week:


LOOM Weaving


Seda Manukyan



Photos by Arnos Martirosyan, Karen Davtyan, Hayk Baghdasaryan, Aram Kirakosyan, Karapet Sahakyan, and Adel Brekht.