The founder of the brand, Anna Poghosyan, worked in marketing and communications for more than 15 years – and all this time she was haunted by the desire to create her own brand, in tune with her values. After analyzing her experience and cases of various brands, she came to the conclusion that people increasingly need and are interested not just in things that satisfy some need, but in things endowed with important meanings. So five years ago she came up with the idea of producing silk scarves dedicated to outstanding women of the world. “At that time, the women’s issue was not so pressing,” recalls Anna. — My task was to educate and inspire with vivid stories of women from different eras, to discover little-known facts about their achievements. Lips & Brain’s goal is for scarves to serve as a reminder that each of us is capable of great things.”
For example, the brand team was inspired to create the “Yoga” scarf by Indra Devi, a successful actress who, trusting her inner call, went to India. The famous guru from whom she wanted to learn yoga did not accept women or foreigners as students. Indra’s persistence prevailed. He soon taught her personally, and later told her that she should teach herself. China, America, Argentina, India, USSR – Indra conquered the whole world and proved that yoga is not magic, but a way of spiritual and physical development.
The Truth Scarf tells the story of Ruth Ginsburg, who dedicated herself to the law and protecting the rights of vulnerable groups. Her whole life was a continuous struggle against gender inequality, from which she emerged victorious – Ruth became the second woman to be a judge of the US Supreme Court, although at the beginning of her career she was not even hired as a clerk. More than once she had to face this state of affairs, but Ruth always overcame gender barriers.
Materials and production
When asked why scarves, Anna answers: “What could be more pleasant than silk, which touches the skin and at the same time keeps a strong story?” Lips & Brain imports silk from around the world, and production is located in Europe. “Our silk is delicate, but dense and holds its shape well,” adds Anna. — It’s a huge compliment to hear from clients that they only wear our scarves, although they also have scarves from other well-known brands. We are aware of this responsibility and maintain the quality standard: our scarves are often collected and bought by mothers, girlfriends, and sisters. I believe that with our scarf a woman is given a piece of the invisible power that we showed through the story on the scarf, and she can take it with her as a talisman to an important speech, difficult negotiations or project presentation.”
When releasing collections, Lips & Brain does not adhere to seasonality, does not follow trends, but follows a “natural approach”: when a suitable heroine and story are found, the brand launches the design. “We spend one and a half to two months of work on each scarf: from searching for a story and developing a hand sketch to a test scarf and creating a 3D model for the website,” explains Anna. — Author’s design is always a labor-intensive process, so stamping is not our option. Sometimes it happens that everyone likes the heroine and her story, but the design doesn’t work. Just imagine: we once redrew one scarf 40 times.”
Anna initiates the story, gives background and facts from the heroine’s life, and collects style moodboards. Afterwards, illustrators join the process – they make a sketch, which they then refine and correct together with the founder of the brand. In this case, the work takes as much time as it takes: “I don’t need us to draw a sketch in three days – I expect that the person will care. And let us work on the design longer, but I know that at the end we will get the best option. I am proud that professionals have gathered around our project.”
At different periods, different scarves were in the top sales – first “Birds”, then “Flowers” and “Truth”. Now it’s time for Science and Botany. The creation of the first Lips & Brain scarf was inspired by the stories of women in science – today women scientists surprise no one, but 150 years ago everything was different. Women could not study on an equal basis with men, and they had to win their right to education. Notable examples are Sofya Kovalevskaya, the first European woman to become a corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences and the first woman in the world to receive the position of professor of mathematics, as well as Ellen Richards, the first American woman to receive a scientific degree in chemistry.
The brand’s team was inspired to create the second scarf, “Botanica,” by the story of Jeanne Barre, the first female botanist to travel around the world. At the same time, in order to get on the expedition ship, 26-year-old Jeanne had to impersonate a young man – after all, in 1766 the very presence of a woman on the ship was prohibited. Jeanne Barré classified more than 5,000 plants.
“These topics resonate with our audience,” summarizes Anna. “Nowadays women’s businesses are flourishing, and we want to support women and give them the confidence to try and move forward. For the next year, the brand has many plans to educate and support women – I really hope that we will be able to implement all our plans.”
Lips & Brain scarves have a fairly affordable price – 11,000 rubles. But maintaining the price when absolutely everything has gone up is not easy. “Perhaps we will have a price increase next year to even out the increased cost,” explains Anna. “But even if we take this step, the price of our scarves will be lower than the market average.”