Guest Post: Honouring Sisterhood through Fashion by Peggy Khoucasian, Daughters of Culture

Pick any day of the week from morning ‘til night and you’ll find me rummaging through a Los Angeles open air market looking for inspiration, creating new designs with a box of textiles plopped on my living room sofa or busily collaborating with my ‘braintrust’ of yogi models, teachers and editor. Sketches and hand-written notes from creative working sessions decorate pieces of cardboard that hold fabric swatches. In between logging work hours in my downtown office and styling photo shoots on rooftops, I travel to far off places like France and Morocco in search of artwork and people who stir my heart for the next inspiring cultural design. Amidst this hectic schedule, I make time for yoga practice to facilitate the spiritual connection so important to Daughters of Culture.

Daughters of Culture is a women’s active and lifestyle brand that celebrates a spirit of ‘Sisterhood’ and honors the oneness of humanity and culture. The brand merges original, dynamic images with the humanities, fashion and movement to create incredibly unique pieces meant to be treasured, just like the beautiful diamond-like women wearing them.

A community of positivity. A place of connection. A home for the empowerment of women.

Travelling is a huge part of my inspiration because I love to find new, unusual prints and art inspired by different cultures and I love finding ways to incorporate them into my designs. Our designs are courageously inspired by constant world travel. These journeys are a spiritual quest for ‘wearable art.’ Prints are meticulously and lovingly hand-picked to be incorporated into unconventional styles so the wearer always feels original. We bring back these impressions, ideas and cultures from remote parts of the world as offerings, expressed as stunning works of art and treasured forever.

My journey started when my family emigrated from Armenia and eventually ended up building a life in the United States in a one-bedroom apartment where the women of the family collaborated creatively and sewed together. The strong core values of my mother instilled a beautiful feminine energy that later took roots as Daughters of Culture. This celebration of the empowerment and gifts of women that came from an early age found its roots gently through yoga. For me, it came about one step at a time. I began practicing yoga and started designing for a yoga brand under my mentor, who was a yogi for more than 20 years. I didn’t realise at the time that one day I would be designing my own yoga-inspired clothing line. It was all lined up for me.

A vision brought to life uniting women of all cultures, ages, and backgrounds to display the fluid and connected nature of being a woman. It doesn’t take long for women gathered in a room together to quickly recognise ways to support one another.

The true spirit of a woman lies in her power and her belief that anything is possible. We seek to celebrate and express this hope, tenacity and fortitude with the vibrancy of cultures and ethnic prints from remote places, giving the best quality and fit for what the modern woman’s active lifestyle demands. And most of all, we hope every woman feels as radiant and beautiful wearing a piece from Daughters of Culture as we do when we design it.

Behind the scenes there is a broad sense of camaraderie and support. All the women involved in Daughters of Culture are forward-thinkers without a shred of ego who are united in making the world a better place. We work with yoga teachers and women in the fashion world on a weekly basis to approach beauty in an all-embracing celebration of natural beauty.

We lost one another somewhere along the way. When we began to value achievement above connection. External acceptance above inner radiance. Stoic strength above enchanting vulnerability. But we are finding each other once again.

We focus on fostering this mentality through an outreach programme, ‘Cultural Ambassadors’, as well as blog posts, Instagram and collaborations with other brands. The enlightened side of social media is that it allows women to connect from all parts of the world and share their experiences to expand the minds of others, unite together and support the dreams and aspirations of the participants. I consider the outreach program as something that will never be finished, as there is always room for growth in connecting to others and, like yoga, approaching business will always require a ‘beginner’s mind.’

Since Los Angeles is home, local/ LA manufacturing makes it easier for us to encourage an ethical, hands-on process and I love meeting women who align with the consciousness behind the brand. This personal, one-on-one contact is important because the point of the brand is to understand and cherish the individual. It helps broaden my mindset, treasure the yogi community as well as design apparel that brings out the best version of the women wearing it. The Daughters of Culture Give Back Program also donates 15% of production to women’s shelters and causes and I am always searching for ways to do more to help others.

May we all aspire to fully embrace the Empowered Woman within us. For it is only then when we can truly inspire the power of another. Respected for our minds. Admired for our hearts. Connected for our vision. And may we do it with honesty, strength, and most of all, with heart.

As a responsible and ethical company that is constantly re-evaluating how we can make a difference and create value in society, we value people, culture and longevity in the face of rising production costs. We are completely on board with taking better care of our planet by incorporating recycled polyester into our fabrics. We pledge to support the local economy by sourcing our performance wear line via small, local businesses that provide jobs within the United States. We take pride in continually striving to find new ways of employing workers in the States and US, seeking out recycling programs, reducing waste and packaging, and looking for ways to make the world a better place.

The evolution of Daughters of Culture came through the hands of strong female forces and it continues to grow its Sisterhood as each woman climbs on board to participate. When your story and your journey meet ours on the pathway of life we realise that together we’re all the Daughters of Culture. And then? It becomes our story.

Peggy Khoucasian is the founder of Daughters of Culture, a brand inspired by culture, life and unique self-expression, handcrafted by cultural artisans and produced in small quantities to give a ‘one of a kind garment’ feel meant to be cherished.