That's a question Loris Diran wondered aloud with no definitive answer. For well over a century we've been heavily influenced by European design but 7th Avenue and the American press eschews designs that are too European.
Loris should know. A French-Armenian son of immigrants who moved to New York at an early age. He took his design skills he learned from instinct, his impressions of great designers of his childhood and a degree in Fine Arts from NYU and went abroad to work for major fashion houses such as Versace and Chanel.
His perspective of both European culture and design are equally balanced with that of the U.S and his designs reflect that dichotomy.
Continuing to wonder aloud, Loris said, "perhaps its because all Americans come from immigrant families... this true melting pot, that there's no real answer".
Indeed, as he walked me through both his men's and woman's lines I was struck with how I couldn't put my finger on any one particular influence. Depending on the piece, I could see some French, Italian and Savile Row influences, but not purely enough to label any given one. A highly sophisticated and refined melting pot of design that flawlessly works.
Loris Diran's designs reflect his perfectionism down to the last stitch of detail. It's obvious how impeccable the craftsmanship is. Both the woman's and men's lines have a wide variety of luxurious materials with wonderful silhouettes and drape.
The men's line stretches from more avant garde and fashion forward to classic. Even the the more classic designs have small touches to set them apart from any other. Loris repeatedly says, "the beauty is in the detail". How true he proves this to be. The cuts, stitching and linings made every piece stand out to illustrate his uniqueness in design. I dare say I could now pick out a Loris Diran design from a mile away, purely on detail.
Surprisingly, his sizable men's clientele is generally younger than his female clientele. For woman, he's very body conscious in his designs and I found the looks to be generally less avant garde but no less distinctive than the men's. Little wonder woman of all ages flock to his designs.
Loris Diran started his first woman's line in 2003 and his men's in 2005. Two years ago he opened his first of what he hopes will be a number of boutiques on 3 East First Street in the East Village.
His visibility and notoriety continue to rise as time goes by. Well known customers such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Beyonce and Ricky Martin have increased his visibility as well as designs featured in "The Devil Wears Prada". For many, Loris Diran's familiarity comes from frequent appearances on Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New York" this past season (many of whom are clients and good friends). Who knows? Maybe he'll have his own show before long.
Personally I've been fortunate to see Loris frequently at a variety of events. From the first time I met him I was struck with how impeccably dressed he was, down to the last detail. His perfectionism is not limited to his designs, he clearly strives for it in everything he does. A prince of a gentleman, pleasant, warm and approachable, he's always been an absolute pleasure to spend time with. Perhaps Loris Diran is that epitome of American vision. It couldn't come from a nicer, more deserving gentleman.
3 East First Street
Michael Cress ~ New York Sartorialist