When you hear the word genocide one tends to think of Hitler’s crusade during the Holocaust, or the current battles going on today in Northern Africa. However, the word genocide was introduced in the twentieth century in 1915 – when over one million Armenians were taken away from their homes and slaughtered by the Turkish Empire.

The Armenian Genocide has never been given the proper acknowledgment it deserves and Turkey’s official position, along with the media, seems to be that it never happened.

Our Purpose is an organization started by two Armenian cousins, Lucene Gilbert and McKenna Balian, who listen to Armenians willing to tell their family’s story of survival. These stories are then transformed into remarkable garments that are each based on their journeys of endurance and perseverance against Turkish’s brutality.

Our Purpose is to bring recognition to these deserving people. Our Purpose is to stop the denial. Our Purpose is for these lost Armenian voices to be heard.


Photographer: Christina Stoever Makeup: Ila Mindell. 

Models: Olivia Steele, Vatche Gilbert, Sana Bush, Lucene Gilbert, McKenna Balian, Jacob Martinez, Dan Simpson

Garments: Nabeela Najjar and are apart of the Chobanian collection.

Instagram: @_our_purpose_ .