“In some ways I started my sweater collection out of frustration,” says knitwear designer Lauren Manoogian. “I was working for other companies and wanted to design really simple beautiful sweaters, but they always got dropped in favour of novelty pieces. I knew what I wanted to wear and I figured that other people felt the same, so I just had to go my own way.”
Her vision proved correct. Today, Manoogian’s collections of sculptural garments and accessories are cult favourites, beloved for their blend of comfort and beauty. Informed by her training in textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design, designed in a New York studio and made in Peru, the pieces combine sculptural silhouettes, natural fabrics and cosiness, all in an eminently wearable palette of elegant neutrals.
Her design process is one of honing:
“It’s about finding a simple form, minimizing the details and connection points while using a natural material and craft based techniques,” she says. The neutral palette is also the result of paring back: “Once you focus, there are so many colors and nuances within a more subdued palette that I don’t find it restrictive at all. Quite the opposite, I find it really freeing.”
The results include baby alpaca roll necks, wide legged felt trousers, chunky fisherwoman pullovers. The forms are simple and familiar.
“Sculpture and material are inspiring and the starting point,” she explains, “but everything absolutely has to have comfort, ease, and function.”
By refusing to sacrifice either comfort or style, Manoogian has elevated knitwear to the status of luxurious essentials.
So, as temperatures plummet, and cosiness is vying with style at the top of your list of sartorial priorities, let one of her pieces be the answer to everything.