When it comes to Cosplay for a cause, Armstreet is at the top of their game. Come meet the makers of some fantastic historical costuming that will have you thinking you’re traveling back in time.
Armstreet is a Ukrainian company specializing in elements of Costuming that are specifically imagined for members of the LARP, Cosplay, and Historical/Renaissance Festival communities. Their heart for Veterans Services and their devotion to creating gorgeous, intricate designs has set them at the top of the Costuming Community, and this week we are happy to interview them and learn more about their work.
Veterans Services are incredibly important both in the USA and the Ukraine, and this Spring I was honored to partner with Armstreet for prize donation in the Clan’s Battle of the Bowmen. Our yearly fundraiser competition at Sherwood Forest Faire, benefitting Knights of the Grail, was highlighted by the gift of hand crafted circlets provided by Armstreet, a company that prides itself on a devotion to meticulous, gorgeous craftsmanship in every piece of garb and accessory that they create. They have spent 15 years honing their offerings, and provide some of the most well loved costumes in the Historical and LARP communities. Today we are featuring an interview with Miha Skorobogatov, managing partner for ArmStreet.
How did your company get started?
Back in 2003, my business partner Anatoliy Davidovich (who tragically died in 2005 from pancreatic cancer) and I set up a company as an eBay account venture, with my brother Ivan creating our first website. We started out selling handmade stuff on eBay as we didn’t have a penny to our names and needed capital to start making our own products. We switched to medieval clothing quite quickly because of my wife, Anastasia’s, passion for clothing design, as well as an opportunity from our old friend and soon-to-be US branch manager Igor, who had moved to the USA and joined local sword-fighting club. Basically, it was a friends-and-family business which just decided to keep growing and not stop.
What are your main company goals?
From the very beginning we dreamed of becoming a world renowned business – and we’re currently just a few steps from being the largest, most respected company our industry! It is hard to specifically say what our goals were at the time, as we were just trying to be the best, share our family spirit and harness our creative passion at the same time. When it comes to products, our ideology is mostly based on natural materials and unique design, as well as the uncompromising quality we are known for.
What are your favorite pieces to create, your favorite styles to explore?
Over the years we have found that each new piece is our favorite! We’re constantly growing and improving as designers, so each new product is created using the best of our technology and knowledge, meaning each is even better than the last. We are constantly in the process of creating something new and amazing, so nothing is ever good enough to stay our favorite for long. Our flagship products are obviously our beautiful clothing but we’re also known for the top-quality etched armor and innovative accessories.
What makes your brand unique?
ArmStreet is unique in many ways. First, we created an almost high-fashion level market and quality standard for fantasy, LARP, and history-inspired gear. Second, ArmStreet products are a unique combination of traditional technologies and styles and modern inventions and design solutions. What is important is that we don’t compromise. We are often criticized for our price policy, but every time we have a choice between “let’s keep it this way” and “let’s spend a fortune to make our own rivets” we choose the latter.
What events/conventions/faires will you be attending this year?
Our regular events are SCA wars, which are Pennsic, Great Gulf War and, hopefully, Western War this year. We’re hoping to make it to St Ives Festival in Sydney, Australia, as well as Timeline Festival just outside of Melbourne. Bicolline in Canada is a work in progress and currently we’re starting to look for opportunities at Renaissance Fairs. But in general we’re still to be an online company with offices in Milwaukee and Melbourne (Australia) and workshops in Ukraine.
What inspires your creations?
Oh, it is hard to say – for creative people anything might be an inspiration and we’re a gang of creative people. From the number of times our designs are copied by other manufacturers I guess you can say that we can be a source of inspiration as well! But we love new technologies very much so every new technique and material immediately inspires our artists to create new, never before seen products.
What new items are you working on?
We’re about to finish with some huge gothic armor project and we’re working on new technologies like enameled metal and block printing, so new products will be absolutely new in terms of techniques and style. Our clothing plans are secret but there well be at least 2 major collections this year, one of which is supposed to close the Renaissance gap in our product line.
What is your brand’s strongest construction element?
Uncompromising love for quality and design, this is probably what’s essential in our DNA.
What is your favorite of the pieces you create, or the most popular?
It’s hard to answer about favorite pieces, most popular and most copied by different brands are probably our signature dresses like “Autumn Princess” and “Archeress”. Our “Forest Boots” are popular for a variety of different time periods as well as fantasy and have been sent all over the world, as well.
What message do you have for the costume community? What do you suggest for people wanting to branch out into this field?
In many communities and groups people are really serious about some traditions like certain standards of historical accuracy or local prejudices. Our message is simple – don’t follow the rules, change them and create something new. It works and it inspires people. It doesn’t make sense to participate in some crazy hobby and take the path most followed. So just don’t – go a different way and enjoy the adventure!
Where can we find you on Social Media? Links to your websites?
I’m pretty sure “Armstreet” is everywhere on Google and social media
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