Romanian Labels That are Changing the Fashion Scene
Romania is a hidden gem from several different points of view. If you're a traveler, you're going to want to come here to get off the beaten path. If you're a businessman, you're going to come here because it is less developed, but full of potential. If you're an artist, you're going to come here because it will inspire you, familiarizing you with elements you have never even heard of before. If you're a designer, fashion blogger or just a shopaholic looking for something a little more, you're going to come here for the following brands, which I guarantee will someday change the world.
1. Ioana Ciolacu
Named after its designer, this contemporary womenswear brand combines architecture, nature, signature graphics and tailoring techniques. Ioana, the 35 year old designer and brains behind this fascinating label, won a European Fashion Award while still in school and received the Designer for Tomorrow Award from Stella McCartney after graduating and receiving her MA in Fashion Design and Technology from the prestigious London College of Fashion. She now shows off her own incredible (and sustainable!) designs all over the world, recently debuting her collection at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Berlin.
2. Ingrid Teodosiu
Up-and-coming designer Ingrid Teodosiu based in Cluj-Napoca created this label back in 2014 after graduating from the Cluj Arts and Design University and being named the "next big fashion star" by Elle Romania. She has worked with several big names in the fashion industry and has been recognized by many publications, both Romanian and international, because, well, just look at those designs! According to her website, the brand is "defined by its fusion of femininity, versatility and attention to detail with a sense of refined ease," and if that doesn't give you goosebumps, I don't know what will.
3. Lana Dumitru
This label, based in the capital city of Romania, brings a new meaning to modern designs, combining technology and photorealistic prints to create unique, futuristic pieces that could just as easily be displayed in a museum as they would at Fashion Week events. The designer has already produced 12 collections despite just finishing her studies and earning her PhD in Arts and Fashion, and attracted international attention after she became the first Romanian designer to officially collaborate with Puma in a custom print jacket named "T7 Etno Shake Puma by Lana". Lana was named best young Romanian fashion designer by Forbes in 2015 and was featured in their Top 30 under 30 list.
4. MA RA MI
Hoping to create a brand where Romanian traditional costumes and different cultures from all over the world meet, designer Andra Clițan created MA RA MI. She was inspired by her time spent in Asia, Europe and the Middle East as part of study trips abroad while pursuing a degree in fashion design in Cluj and at Central Saint Martins. MA RA MI exists to preserve traditional techniques and influences from many parts of the globe. as well as create conversation. As their website says, "we are proud of our roots and culture, the great heritage of our ancestors, their stories and courage."
5. Alexandru Simedru
Created by the recently named "Best Young Designer" by Elle Romania, this label creates designs that speak about Romanian society and mentalities, hoping to redefine behaviors through fashion. There are only three collections for us to collectively cry over at the moment, but there will definitely be more to come for this young Bucharest-based designer whom, if you've ever met or seen, you'd agree will change the Romanian fashion scene.
Together, these labels have become part of a movement that has allowed young Romanians to embrace both their personal sense of style and thousands of years of their country’s culture and traditions, creating, through fashion, a more open minded and confident generation. Today, they’re taking their movement beyond Romania’s borders, and I guarantee they’ll be leaving their mark on the world very soon, as well as their signature prints and patterns.