Interview: Bev Armstrong of Luna Gallery
Luna Gallery is an Australian knitwear label founded in 1999, with a strong ethos for local manufacture, pure natural yarns and belief in sustainability + quality.
We had a chat with Bev Armstrong, founder of Luna Gallery, to get insight into the labels success.
ST MARC: When you started Luna Gallery, the other brands were moving their production off-shore and knitwear design was becoming almost formulaic. What inspired you to defy the trend and create Luna?
Bev Armstrong: Sheer determination. I love working with product & beautiful yarns. Being in the factory’s - seeing, touching & feeling is very important to my knit development. I believe strongly in our knit industry … the history, the generations of skills, their incredible work ethic. It is SO worth supporting & incredibly rewarding to be a part of.
SM: Your jumpers seem to be practically considered and aesthetically inspired in equal parts. In the design process, what comes first?
BA: Form & Function. We want our jumpers to be easy to wear & care for … a style you put on & love wearing all the time. Keeps you warm, looks good, fits well. Simple & sensible.
SM: We witnessed the amazing success of your ‘one size fits most’ approach. Can you tell us how you developed a product so in-tune with the female form?
BA: We knit using Whole-garment Seamless machinery – the entire garment is knitted in one piece. So designing & programming - to me - is like sculpting. Knits drape so beautifully & with no seams to constrict their shape, they breath with you & flow with your own shape.
SM: Our Luna clients at Nest have always been surprised about the simplicity of caring for their Luna favourites. What’s the secret?
BA: Natural fibres & yarns. They need to be soft yet resilient - consistently spun with a perfect twist. Our yarns are sourced for Easy Care, but it is also the way we shape our garments.
SM: There’s a Luna palette that seems so in tune with your client. How do you predict the mood of your clients heading into each season?
BA: I am not sure. I do get inspiration from certain colours that grab my attention. But we are not ‘fashion’ so try to stick to what I feel works for our garments. After 35+ years in fashion some colours have bad memories… so we don’t go there.
SM: How have your policies regarding sustainability developed towards knitting and slow fashion?
BA: I believe Luna has always been driven with sustainability & local manufacture in mind. It was our vision & mission since dot in 2000.
It was also our dream to use Australian wool spun here, to produce an entirely Australian grown & made blanket, but sadly the spinning industry has not been supported in this country, so our Australian wool is spun overseas.
I do love seeing younger folk being so passionate about every facet of sustainable & slow fashion practice & hope they can realise their own dreams.
SM: What are you currently working on and has the pandemic affected your method of production?
BA: We work close to market, and are still developing new garments for Winter. It is a slightly ‘off grid’ approach, but enables us to work more closely with our retailers to knit to the Seasonal whims.
The pandemic has of course affected our production capacity & staff & knit development, so we are still playing catch up, and constantly changing our structure with each new challenge. As a small manufacturer there is only so much we can knit.