DETROIT, Mich.—Longtime AYF Detroit “Kopernik Tandourjian” Chapter member Talar Malkadjian has launched her first Yerevan-inspired fashion line and is donating a portion of her proceeds to the Armenian Relief Society’s Lebanon relief efforts.
“It was really important for me to send a percentage of my proceeds to Lebanon, and I wanted it to be through [the] ARS because I know how much work they do on the front line,” said Malkadjian during a recent interview with the Weekly.
As the daughter of immigrant parents, Malkadjian calls Lebanon her second home. She reminisced about carefree summers in the villages with her extended family in Anjar. “I would’ve probably been in Lebanon right now with a fashion internship,” Malkadjian said heavy heartedly. She had applied to summer internships with renowned haute couture designers like Zuhair Murad, Krikor Jabotian and Elie Saab.
A rising junior studying accounting and finance at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, Malkadjian is also enrolled in the Parsons School of Design Extension Program. Malkadjian said her love of fashion is deeply rooted in growing up around her father’s jewelry business.
“When I was applying to the business school I had to write why I wanted to pursue business, and I wrote about how I really want to intertwine Armenian culture into the fashion industry for my first line. I really wanted to stick to my word to start off my first collection,” explained Malkadjian.
by talarmal pays homage to Yerevan by showcasing the ancient city with a modern flair. Her four-piece streetwear line includes her famed oversized white tee-shirt with her sketch of Mayr Hayastan and a stone colored bucket hat with the Yerevan airport code (EVN). She offers two types of drawstring hoodies for a comfortable yet stylish look to highlight the capital city in the winter months. The lettering on her cropped sweatshirt that reads “Last Night in the City of Yerevan” was inspired by the robust nighttime atmosphere on Northern Avenue while strolling with loved ones during her first trip to Armenia for the 2017 Homenetmen World Games.
“Each product from this collection is handpicked and printed with designs I created,” she said. Malkadjian noted it was important for her to produce locally; she worked with a printing factory in downtown Detroit to bring her creations to life. “As I keep learning, I hope to have more control over production like choosing fabrics and customizing the coloring and fit to match my personal style,” said the young designer, who personally sews “bytalarmal” tags on each item before shipping along with a handwritten thank you note.
“I’m excited she gets to showcase her passion with the world,” said her older sister and longtime AYF member Sanan Malkadjian.
by talarmal has already received an overwhelming amount of support from the community since its launch this past weekend; Malkadjian is now working on restocking her inventory.