The gorgeous team at the Big Design Market – Savannah & Anu – came into the studio of Luna Gallery to interview founder & designer Beverley Armstrong.
How long have you been running Luna Gallery?
18 years – since 2000! I started off with the Couch Cardy© range – clothing for your furniture (now Luna Home) and then went into garments, which are now my main product. I knit good, simple jumpers – no fuss, organic shapes that suit and fit most bodies.
So before Luna Gallery what were you doing?
I worked in the commercial rag trade for many years. Then I moved away to Hong Kong where I ended up working as a marketing and communications manager for a chain of restaurants. I learnt a lot – I’d never even turned on a computer before then! They had me doing my own graphics, so I got used to art directing and telling people what I wanted.
So having experience in the rag trade per say, did it make you want to move into slow fashion? Into something that’s not trend focused?
Very much so…it wasn’t for me. I’ve always worked with labels that are a bit different but did go into mainstream fashion and it was pretty awful. I just didn’t have a commercial eye for it (which for me is a good thing) – they would ask me, “Bev do you like that?” and if I said I loved it, they’d cancel it!
When I came back to Melbourne, I was passionate about working with local manufacturers – I’m a diehard. When I started working with local knitters again I found they were struggling to see a vision for knitwear going forward, but I kept at it, and at it, and am still very passionate about local manufacturing and supporting my knitters. I’ve seen so many knitting companies close down.
I used to do a lot more fully-fashioned knitwear but have found most who are able to do this style of work have retired. I’ve since bought Wholegarment® machinery myself to keep the production local. The knitters I work with are really loyal and I’m really loyal to them. I’ve been knitting on seamless technology for probably 12-15 years. Knitting to me is like sculpture, you’re creating a shape that molds to the body and that’s my favourite thing to do.
Do you feel like the support from your community is there?
I’m so lucky with my clients, they are the other reason I love what I’m doing. I’ve got the best clients in the world.
How many Big Design Markets have you done?
I think I’ve been doing them from word go. I like to support people that support local design, which is why I do The Big Design Market. It’s always such an incredible event. How they manage to get so many people through the door as a constant flow I have no idea.