Images: Yoana Baraschi
Yoana Baraschi is a woman after my own heart- after all, I think we all know by now that I love a stout color and print!
Yoana, born and schooled in fine arts and sculpture in Bucharest, has a long history in fashion that spans France, USA, Hong Kong and India, and one well known designer and label after another. Her lines are often heavily influenced by her travels and almost always grounded in textiles and embroidery (her first position as a designer was with Emmanuelle Khahn as an embroidery designer). Also on her resume, positions as an illustrator at WWD, shoe designer for Mario Valentino, Design Director for Guess Knitwear, as well as Creative Director for Betsey Johnson.
Is it any wonder she launched her own line in 2002?
Yoana Baraschi's line was picked up by Saks shortly after the launch and the rest is history.
As I found out, the Romanian born beauty is equal parts thoughtful and passionate about her fashion- check out the interview below.
Yoana Baraschi is renowned for rich embroidery, vibrant color, and print- where do you find the inspiration from line to line?
Almost anywhere- traveling, the evening sky, an art show, and always from the buildings, landscapes, cafes and women in Paris. It feeds my designs that made for women who are feminine, confident and looking for a playful luxe aesthetic. In each collection there are statement dresses that fit flawlessly. Many have become favorites of some of Hollywood’s most dynamic women: from burlesque artist Dita Von Teese; to supermodel Heidi Klum; to actress, Camilla Bell. These are the type of women I keep in mind when designing.
How do you see your background in fine arts and sculpture work its way into your pieces?
As an avid world traveler, I'm always seeking stories from the old and new worlds to see how I might be able to reinterpret them in my designs. I am endlessly attracted to neoclassical and baroque decorative motifs. They possess an effortless harmony that begs to be revealed anew. I love creating clothing that enhances women’s physical attributes and empowers their inner spirits. Fit is also an ongoing labor of love in my collection from its design inception to the final truth of production.
Who are your biggest influences design wise?
A mix of Diana Vreeland and Betty Page in almost equal measure. . .
What advice would you give to an aspiring designer?
Trust your instincts and stay true to your design aesthetic. Build a team that you trust as you cannot do it alone, you will need support and sound advice to guide you through. Study and explore, I am constantly on a journey to learn and experience more. Design internships are invaluable experiences to have, as they give you a first-hand look into the business.
What was the catalyst for you to take the leap, move on from Betsey Johnson, and start your own line?
Seeing the creative energy of Betsey Johnson when I worked as her Creative Director really inspired me. It helped me realize there wasn’t one way to design—you could think outside the box, you could be playful and have a sense of humor while still creating something incredible.
If you weren’t designing what would you be doing?
What is your favorite piece from the latest collection?
My favorite pieces are the Canyon Land Swing Jacket and the Luxe Patch High Low Coat.
Any specific reference point for your latest collection?
Abstract prints, ombre leaves, feather motifs, as well as a surreal gilded forest print set the framework for my current Fall collection.
What piece in your closet means the most to you?
A cashmere sweater I produced 10 years ago in collaboration with the Cita Foundation at a Women's Cooperative in Nepal.
What does the coming year bring for the line?
Even better design and execution.
5 Questions with MPCC
Trapped on a dessert island, what three things do you bring?
My contact lenses, Mrs. Tweedie's book and water!
Killian's Cruel Intention
Last item of clothing you purchased?
Red suede boots from Freelance
Super power you want to have?
To be effortlessly super present in the moment.
Historical event you wish you were a part of?
The coronation of Louis XV
And finally, where can readers buy Yoana Baraschi locally?
YB can be purchased at Vira on Charles St. In Boston