Up-and-coming Designer Ioana Ciolacu

Published at L'Officiel Italia on 8th August 2013

Now Ioana Ciolacu is back home in London taking a well-deserved little break. She is watching movies and discovering all sorts of the city’s places which she had no time to see before, Ioana tells me. The last months have been stressful for the 31-year-old Romanian designer. And the upcoming times will be challenging as well. After winning the “Designer for Tomorrow” Award by Peek & Cloppenburg Duesseldorf and Fashion ID at the past Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin her life has changed “big time”. She received an individual sponsorship that will enable her to open her own studio, produce her next collection and to present her first solo show at the Berlin Fashion Week in January. At the same time the current graduate student will hand in her Master’s Degree collection at London College of Fashion in November. Luckily she is supported by personal mentoring in every aspect of the fashion industry from top people in the business. Among them is Stella McCartney, who follows in the footsteps of Marc Jacobs as this year’s patron of the DfT Award. “It might sound tacky”, Ioana admits, “but I admired her a lot before I met her for the way she keeps a healthy balance in her designs”. Apart from Stella McCartney, one of her favourite designers is Riccardo Tisci whom she closely watches.

So how did Ioana convince the nine-headed jury comprising German Vogue’s editor-in-chief Christiane Arp? Her winning collection is named Paradox and that is what it is all about – in a subtle way. It is soft and feminine but strong and masculine at the same time. The colours are kept simple in white, black, grey and nude but are completed with a splash of light blue. As a former Architecture student “all the elements such as structure, geometry and proportions got stuck with me”, she says. During this time she also came across the material foam, which she now processes into flounces in her key-look. Nevertheless, she perfectly manages the balance between conceptual and wearable. What is most important to the up-and-coming designer after all are feelings. Ioana wants to express and share hers with every piece she creates. Unlike others she starts looking for inspiration within herself. Her experiences, characteristics and emotions lead to a very personal style but in a way other women still can relate to.

So for now, the best thing Ioana can do is to take Stella McCartney’s advice for her: “keep doing what you’re doing”. 


Photos above were created for L'Officiel Italia.

Concept & Styling: Valerie Soschynski

Photos: Anita Bresser

Hair & Make-up: Helena Narra using Estée Lauder @ Agentur Nina Klein

Hair & Make-up Assistant: Timo Bloom

Model: Lucy @ Core Artist Management

Dress & Cap: Ioana Ciolacu