Vania Romoff, 25, was raised in Cebu where she developed her passion for fashion design. Given her impressive pedigree—her grandmother was the first couturier in Cebu and her mother and brother were into garment manufacturing—it was only natural for Romoff to make a foray into fashion.
“I learned early on what works and what doesn’t,” said this graduate of School of Fashion and the Arts.
“It’s something I feel cannot be read in books, and in that sense, I am truly blessed,” she said.
She jumped at the chance to showcase her debut collection of a 10-piece luxe wear in Philippine Fashion Week in 2009, which was composed of separates for the evening, with a relaxed and effortless vibe into every piece.
But she doesn’t consider her career path a meteoric success. “It wasn’t overnight for me,” said Romoff, “as much as people would like to think.”
She moved to Manila in 2011, against her mom’s wishes, and tried her best to work her way through. “No one knew me,” she recalled. “I had no
There was a time when she would receive clients at home, having no atelier yet. “By clients, I mean one or two in a month.”
She set up shop in Magallanes Village in Makati City, but it folded up since her income as a rookie designer wasn’t enough to pay the bills. She even thought of leaving the industry for good. She went to New York, “maxed out my credit card and drained my savings.”
After that unfortunate experience, she realized she had to start over against all odds. “Only because making clothes is the only thing I am good at,” she said.
Perseverance prevailed. “I’m here now. I’m doing okay,” she beamed.
She credits her brother, Anthony, for shaping her into the designer she is today. He also constantly reinforced the idea of clean lines and quality to her design aesthetics.
“I don’t think I knew what good taste was while growing up, but my brother was honest enough to tell me what looked terrible,” she said.
“That’s something special, when someone is blunt with you, then you learn,” she added.
Now, Romoff is a popular fashion designer. She has staked her name on feminine fashion and is adored by socialites and celebrities alike.
Just like her studio at LPL Towers in Makati City, her Instagram feed (@vaniaromoff) is abuzz 24/7 with posts of her beautiful creations from satisfied clients.
She has been tapped by local brands for fashion collaborations, such as Ensembles’ Young Designer Series 2013 and for Crossings The Ramp, for which she produced a capsule collection.
She has been working her magic through every project. “I just try to push myself to come up with fresher and more evolved ideas and techniques,” she said, explaining how she would explore fabrics, from silk jersey to tailored gazaar, and incorporate new cuts while still remaining true to the core of her style, which she dubs “effortless dressing.”
She takes her inspiration from the women she dresses up, which she believes is important in her design process.
“A good fit makes for true luxury,” she said.
“Abstract references don’t work for me. As long as the garment fits well, looks good, and, more importantly, makes the woman feel beautiful, then I know I’ve done a good job,” she pointed out.
Romoff is one young designer who puts an edge on couture gowns and evening dresses, and captures the spirit of effortless feminine glamour that understands a woman’s body and needs.
From the looks of it, she’s a designer who’s here to stay.
For an appointment, visit 7C LPL Towers, Legazpi St. cor. Greenbelt Drive, Legaspi Village, Makati City. E-mail [email protected]; tel. 0999-8673547. Visit www.vaniaromoff.com.ph.