Our knitwear designer Carlo Volpi explains the process...
It's extremely chaotic and painful, but always quite prolific. I love the hard work and at the end take a big breath, have a fag while I look at everything and think, "this time we managed it!"
I usually start developing ideas from an image, a sentence, a thought... After that everything else starts falling into place. More ideas come, I might read the right article or stumble across the perfect exhibition that inspires my work.
It's very important to find a context for your work and not just be bound to create something that looks good. There needs to be a message, something to stimulate the mind rather than just the eyes. For most designers, this is the most challenging aspect of the work because it requires total honesty and a willingness to look at and know oneself deeply.
I love making and collecting images. Most of my sketching is done through making rather than drawing -- usually I sketch ideas after I've made something, or I just let the making process, the materials and the yarn dictate what the work will look like.
Good design does more than respect people and the environment. It also shows our humanity, the designer's passion and love of their craft. These days we are almost forced to buy mass-produced items that say nothing about the identity of the designer or the skills of the maker. I completely believe it is up to the people who design and make to educate consumers about this, and that's what we are trying to do with Tengri.