Vania Romoff is a fashion household name for referencing romance in structure even as trends come and go. Her brand of femininity is now in bridal ready-to-wear, ready for export. The biggest news on Romoff, however, is the birth of her daughter Emilia Simone, now three months old and the most important standing appointment in her packed schedule. The Edition caught up with Romoff, who went from running a company at full steam to a happy kind of slowdown, learning new ropes for her bundle of joy – and becoming more amorous as a designer.

You’ve been hands-on with your business since its proverbial birth. Would you compare running your company to having a baby?

The first time I started my company in Magallanes, I got bankrupt. I thought I would move to New York until I was broke, I didn’t have a visa, so I came back and started doing things again. That being said, I hope I don’t fail at my baby! They are very much alike. It’s a constant learning journey for me.

Motherhood while running a business – how do you manage both?

I worked until I was nine months pregnant. I oversee everything but I also have a lot of help from my small team. I’ve learned I can’t do everything. Now I work from 1 PM to 4 PM, cutting my client schedule to half. I say no to clients and projects, which I never did. I now only say yes to projects that resonate with me; there’s a right time for everything and when the time is right I’ll come back full force. I’m taking the time to get to know my baby but I cannot breastfeed completely.

How did having a baby girl influence your aesthetic?

I wanted to fill Emilia Simone’s room with mother-daughter artwork from the golden age, when they dressed in ruffles, until I realized it was creepy. My aesthetic is feminine to begin with, but in my spring/summer collection, I did not shy away from florals and I put flounces and ribbons together.

I will be creating a baby line. I received positive feedback from the dress I made for Baby Olivia [Manzano Reyes for a shoot with L’Officiel Manila]. Like that piece, the line will have ruffles, smocking, and bows.

As a designer, how important is it to have a distinct point of view?

To consistently come up with something reflective of our aesthetic is supposed to be organic. If we lose that certain taste, people will not be able to distinguish that it’s our design. We have to follow trends because that’s why people buy our stuff in the first place, but to stay relevant, we need to stand out.

How are you as a mother?

I’m not a typical mother. I had a baby before getting married. It was a decision I made and cherish every moment of it. I’m a millennial mom; I Google things like “how to treat a diaper rash.” Our mothers couldn’t read opinions from other moms worldwide in books and on the internet, so I hope I can be an inspiring mom. She doesn’t have to be a designer, but being a woman shouldn’t restrict her from doing whatever she wants.

Vania Romoff’s atelier is located at 7C LPL Tower, 112 Legaspi St., Legaspi Village, Makati.

Interview by Marbbie Tagabucba

Photos by JL Javier

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