Whether we talk about furniture, object design, home decor or fashion, things are constantly changing and evolving. Steve Jobs once said “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Reaching perfection isn’t easy—Salvador Dalí assured us it’s basically impossible—so there shouldn’t be any fear in trying. Here are 8 Romanian design brands worth checking out, brands that find inspiration in different places, from folklore and nature to art and geometry.
Robert Savu and Dragoș Motica started Ubikubi in 2014, after having worked together previously for various projects. Dragoș is an architect and product designer and brings creativity to the table, while Robert is more solution-oriented, focusing on both traditional craftsmanship and innovation and is always up for exploring new territories. Their goal is to create modern, clever and sustainable products with a clean line and affordable prices.
Ceramic Sparrow, the ceramic design and production studio, was created in 2010 by artistic duo Andreea Lăzărescu and Tiberiu Dăncilă. They both studied decorative arts and design and are inspired in their unique, small series ceramic creations by Modernism and various artists, from the rich patterns of William Morris and Koloman Moser to the simplicity of Masahiro Mori.
The fashion brand Patzaikin is a fruitful collaboration between olympian and world-renown canoeist Ivan Patzaichin and designer Oláh Gyárfás. Inspired by and paying homage to the Danube Delta’s fishermen craftsmanship, Gyárfás’ creations are experimental, avant-gardiste items, with various textures and cuts. His finished products are asymmetrical pieces in a minimalistic chromatic palette, which remind of nature and the simple clothing worn by fishermen.
Founded in 2011 in Bucharest, Culture Soup is a multidisciplinary creative studio, the brainchild of Miruna Ștefănescu and Sergiu Simion. They express themselves through various mediums: graphic design, typography, branding, photography, etc. They draw their inspiration from everywhere, Romanian folklore motifs, pin-up girls, sci-fi and samurai!
Mihaela founded her own business in 2003, bust she says she’s been transforming and accessorising her own shoes since forever. What started as a reaction to the I-can’t-find-the-right-pair-of-shoes dilemma many of us have, grew, little by little, in a very successful business, inside and outside Romania. While minimal and architectural, her shoes are also complex and refined.
Dare to Rug
If you’re tired of seeing Ikea’s Lappljung Ruta rug in every other house, look no further, Dare to Rug comes to the rescue. Inspired mostly by Romanian traditional motifs, but boasting fabulous geometric designs as well, Dare to Rug blends contemporary design with an ethnic touch and best materials in order to create hand tufted rugs with bold personalities. The team behind the brand, best friends and business partners Andreea Batros and Flavia Scînteanu, both interior designers, started their business in 2015.
Lana Dumitru holds a PhD in Arts and Fashion and has a keen eye for originality. Blending ethnic and contemporary seems to be her signature style. Always in search for unusual materials and patterns, Lana’s conceptual creations have been described as “futuristic, weird, surreal, bizarre, etc.” Enough to make you curious, I suppose? They certainly caught Bjork’s attention!
Inspired and fascinated by traditional symbols, which she reinterprets and transforms, Nicoleta Chirică creates bags, shoes and accessories with folkloric patterns. Iutta, created in 2013, is a small-scale business which employs traditional craftsmen with a passion for all things authentic. While simple and minimalist in colour and design, Iutta’s creations stand out through the rich and colourful hand embroideries, that always have a symbol and a story behind.
Featured image: Edho Pratama / Unsplash