The Evolution of LORIS DIRAN

by | Dec 14, 2023

The iconic fashion era of the 90’s that will forever live in our minds and hearts arguably became a pop culture moment. From sensual, edgy couture to the birth of the fab four muses – Cindy, Naomi, Linda and Christy. Catwalks echoed the likes of rock concerts; challenging traditional nomenclatures and showcasing unabashed self-expression. The revered designers of this era marked the cult moment in the history of fashion. Bearing witness and tutelage was the birth and evolution of French-Armenian designer, Loris Diran. 

Born from an aristocratic mother and working-class father, Loris Diran migrated to the US at a very young age. Settling in on the Upper West Side of New York; it was there the designer’s juxtaposition of old aristocratic and city life collided. “I come from a very old aristocratic family,” says Diran. “They left Armenia in the mid-1800s and settled in Europe. My mother disdained her family and fled to America.” His mother’s decision to break from tradition, leave the family inheritance, and move to America with his father left a lasting impression. “I grew up in public schools and went to New York’s High School of Performing Arts and NYU School of the Arts,” says Diran. “I lived a very Bohemian lifestyle.”

As a child, Diran was immersed in the arts. From various Broadway shows such as “The Corn is Green” to films such as MGM’s “Fame” and the 1983 movie “Sleepaway Camp.” Sharing a classroom with the likes of actors Steven Weber, Esai Morales, Vanessa Williams, Gina Gershon, John Leguizamo, Erica Gimpel, Designer Isaac Mizrahi, and Oscar winning film producer, Dan Jinks. Diran was besieged by artistic adroitness but quickly became disenchanted with the acting industry. “I didn’t want to stay in an industry where all the control was left to others,” says Diran. “When I got into fashion, I called my own shots. I was able to qualify my identity and I was hired for my identity.” As serendipity would have it, Diran was introduced to a fashion group working for a small company at the time called Versace. “I worked for the North American Division,” says Diran. “Versace was quite involved and Donatella was just a little sister who was literally always by his arm. It was a great way to begin my career in fashion.”  

In an ever-changing industry, few can weather the storm. “I believe to make it, you have to want it very badly,” says Diran. “Do you need to reconsider your direction? How much do you want this? It’s a question all of us have faced at some point in our careers.” Taking on different positions from merchandising to design assistant to public relations Diran worked with a sense of ferocity and determination. Eventually landing what fashion connoisseurs would consider a dream job at Chanel. “I was working in a beautiful powder puff place at Chanel and yet I was unhappy,” says the designer. “Every time I see a friend of mine from my past be it singers, actors, or directors I would feel sad. I felt like they did their journey and I stopped in my creative journey.”

In 2001, Diran returned from a summer holiday to one of the most devastating moments in history- 911. While volunteering at FEMA for the survivors of 911, Diran reflects on a memory that changed his life forever. “I remember people that were literally in a state of shock and all I heard was that same story over and over again. He had plans,” says Diran. “He was going to leave this job in a year at the World Trade Center. He was going to do this. They were going to get married. It was a series of lost dreams and postponed joy.” That eye-opening moment imprinted a lasting mantra he has lived by ever since, ‘‘Don’t postpone joy because you never know and if you take a leap, the net will appear.”

Leaving his cushy job at Chanel, Diran took a leap of faith and embarked on a new journey as a fashion designer. Coining a brand aesthetic of stealth, minimalism, luscious textures and silhouettes, Loris Diran was born. Diran launched his first menswear line. “I embrace things that I assumed in my aesthetic before. The last collection was called Fade to black. I did the collection in three colors, black, gray, and midnight blue,” says Diran. “I used textures to define the garment, a blue clay black cashmere. A cotton that was a cotton and polyester mixed together as a result. Everything was about texture and mixing textures within the same outfit.” The star of the show was the way the fabric performed. Beyond a pattern, Diran’s intention was to create movement. 

To date Loris Diran has debuted his men’s collection on the runways of Milan, Italy by Vogue Italia in 2010, and during Hong Kong Fashion week in 2015 as the first U.S. designer to do so. He has been recognized as the 2011 winner of the Fashion Group International “Rising Star” award for best Menswear Designer. He was a nominee for FGI “Rising Star” womenswear award in 2013. In 2014 he was asked by director Gee Malik Linton to create special costumes for fantasy sequences for his 2015 film release, ‘Daughter of God’ starring Keanu Reeves and Mira Sorvino. Diran has created menswear for Stanley Tucci’s character in the film ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ after being approached by Costume designer Patricia Field, whom he had known from his early years in the New York fashion world. Diran has also designed for Oprah Winfrey. 

The evolution of Loris Diran is one of intrigue and fascination. With over 15 years of experience premiering at New York Fashion week, to a four year personal journey designing in Asia for Lilanz China. Consciously adapting and evolving as an artist is Diran’s true brilliance. After all, in fashion, you’re in one day, and the next… “Every season is an opportunity to start fresh. You do something new, some new interest, a new career direction in the collection. And the way you approach a client is a new obsession. A new dawn.”

For more on Loris Diran, click here https://www.lorisdiran.com/

Photographer : Harold Mindel @harold_mindel

Stylist: Yachi Gault @neko_babooshka

Hair and Makeup: Mako lijima @makohairmakenyc

Muses : Jaydin Linton @cvstommade , Aube Jolicoeur @aubejolicoeur, Represented by The Lions @thelionsmgmt

All clothing credits: Loris Diran @lorisdiran 

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