BERLIN: A dream came true for Ioana Ciolacu when she won the Designer of Tomorrow Award by the German Fashion Retailer Peek & Cloppenburg. Today we can see the result of one year of hard work and the creation of her own collection which will be on sale from tomorrow at Fashion ID. Read the interview with her and shop her designs for a cool and unique summer look.
I met Ioana at Katz Orange in Berlin for a dinner in the courtyard. I was curious to know what her win exactly meant and how it has changed her life and career.
What was your first reaction after you had been chosen as the winner of the DfT award last July during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin?
I could not believe my luck and I had to try to relax, which was hard. I asked Stella McCartney, who was the patron, why she had chosen me and she answered, “Don’t think about it, just continue working”.
And that was exactly what you did all year long without stopping?
Yes, it is difficult for me to take breaks, because I want to see results quickly. That is why I stopped studying architecture. It takes a couple of years to build a house but only three months to design a complete fashion collection. I can work for 36 hours on a series of designs and I only realize that I have to take a break when I am getting dizzy as the result of a lack of sleep and food.
But how do you take breaks, what re-energizes your mind?
I go to the cinema, because I love to see people working hard on a creative process, like an actress in a scene of a movie. It relaxes my mind. Or I go into nature. I feel a very strong connection with nature.
Is that why you used nature as a design element on your Capsule Collection for P&C and Fashion ID?
Yes, I love to do sketches from nature. Animals, plants, flowers – it calms me down and I see eternal beauty in those motifs.
You did a series of nine pieces, which will be on sale online on www.FashionID.de as well as in selected P&C stores as of July after your show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin. How would you love to see your designs combined and styled?
The sportive zipper jacket will look great with a pencil skirt and high heels. I love the combination of contrasts like something very sporty combined with a sexy silhouette. The sweatshirt could be worn with loose pants, which looks very cool, or combined with skinny pants for a very feminine style.
How did P&C and Fashion ID support you all year long?
I was able to rent a great studio in my hometown Bucharest with some seamstresses. Also, they helped me to develop a logo and supported me throughout all the legal processes. I was able to get in touch with many different media outlets and in general the awareness of my own brand increased tremendously. And of course, all the different business contacts that they have in their incredible network were a priceless add-on. Whenever I had questions regarding founding and building my own brand they helped and supported me with the expertise only a fashion company like P&C can have.
I went to material fairs in Paris and chose material at a weaving mill near Hamburg. My personal highlight was an inspirational trip to Paris, where I got a chance to be backstage at Stella McCartney’s show and observe everything, which was a great lesson. I went to the Paris flea market and I could have spent hours at the bookstore of the Musée Decoratif, where I bought art books to take home with me for inspiration. A dream came true. Furthermore I visited Stella’s studios in London, where I met her team. It was a great experience!
How was the support regarding the creation process of your Capsule Collection, which will be on sale online and at the P&C department stores?
Mr. John Cloppenburg guided me through my designs and advised me on making a piece good looking and still be able to get sold. I could observe the customers of P&C and Fashion ID, which was great because for the first time I had realistic references of how my client actually looks like and how she likes to be dressed.
At one point it was great that I had some professional help because I get easily lost in my designs. After we worked on my pieces, they actually looked much stronger, more beautiful.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to keep on working in my team and to open an online store. Bucharest is not Paris, but I want people from everywhere to be able to buy my designs. I love Bucharest, especially for its creative spirit.