Introducing “109”

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Romanian brand 109 was founded in 2009 by Iona Dumitrescu and Marina Moldovan. The limited edition ready-to-wear label includes a diverse mixture of aesthetics that they recently showed at the Tranoï show in Paris.

We spoke to Iona and Marina about the up and coming label and what’s like to be a fashionista in Bucharest. 109 includes an extensive mixture of styles of designs with the brand selling  collections of attitude ridden graphic tees, dramatic sharply tailored dresses and luxe casual wear emblazoned with crystals. Iona and Marina elaborated on the 109 look: “109 are all about comfort and cool. We bring out the lazy and the sexy with cotton comfy tees and the weird and provocative with mysterious black gowns. Life is all about not taking things too seriously and we swear by that.”

109, named after the labels location in an old house in Bucharest, sprung from its two founder’s interest in fashion. Before starting the label Marina studies graphic design and set up a previous brand and Irena worked in PR, the two entrepreneurs then decided designing was the perfect way to express their creativity and ideas. The two designers cite their ideal customers as ‘The sort of people who don’t care about what others think’ and this translates into their striking designs.

Their latest collection is a glamorous take on casual wear with crystal heavy designs: “This constant obsession with stones and studs, they’re everywhere! We love the beauty and graphic nature of diamonds.”

Bucharest is Romania’s capital, nicknamed ‘little Paris’, it’s a beautiful city, full of winding cobbled streets and hidden delights. Iona and Marina sum up the city’s fashion scene: “It’s very mixed, and nothing at all like the international scene. Streetwise there’s a strong post-communist and Balkan feel to the way people dress. Then there’s some razzle dazzle and big brand aficionados. Designer wise there are a few names who have made it big, Romania’s got talent, slowly but surely it will break through”

So what is an average day like for a Romanian fashion designer? “Stressful morning wake-up calls, hurrying to the studio, planning the day, the week, the month, sending mails, organising production and thinking about new pieces and through all of this, there’s this moment when you feel that magic is happening.”

To see more of 109 visit:

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Written by Roanna Price

Roanna Price, fascinated by the escapism, imagination and conversation that can be conjured in the glossy page of fashion writing. Journalism graduate in Liverpool Roanna is responsible for our Top Model Biographies section.

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