Communist uniforms reloaded: an interview with young designer Ramona Manghiuc

Her collection is like a breath of fresh air. Jackets and tops in blue and white, red scarfs, pins, medals and braided hair: CEAU was the name of the line presented by Ramona Manghiuc at UAD 2016 Gala and some nostalgics could see in it the remains of the communist era.. “This summer, I want to expand the line, to make some more 5 or 6 pieces, even more wearable than these and I will have them for sale on”, Ramona said to me, while I was trying her pieces, on an empty terrace on Fabrica de Pensule second floor, in Cluj. “It was very intense that day”, she said, when I asked about the UAD Gala. “A lot of pressure. I just wanted to know that everything will be OK. It was, after all, my work after all the years in school, after months of trials and fittings”. And it was. More than OK. I talked with the young designer Ramona Manghiuc about her (actually) first collection, about style and fashion icon and about the future plans for her designs.

Ramona Manghiuc designs could be found on / on Facebook page – HERE. 

ramona manghiuc 2

What was your inspiration for the collection presented at UAD 2016 Gala?

Even it may look strange, the Communist era inspired me. To be more precisely, the school uniform: on one hand, that one from communist years and, on the other hand, those blue and white Romanian school uniforms seen after ’89. I thought that, in this particular context of nowadays, we need a change and we need to have a “new man”, with new opinions and a strong personality. I think our mentality was severely influenced by communist years. And, therefore, we need a new “uniform” to dress the new man. The name of the collection was “CEAU” and it came from two different directions: the dictator’s name, Ceusescu, and the idea of “goodbye” to the communism.

How many sketchbooks did you throw until you finally decided to go with this collection?

It’s a long way to the final result, that one you like and that one your teachers are pleased with. I wasn’t an exception. I was trying to go with the communism idea, I tried to put Elena Ceausescu in the centre. It didn’t work. Sketchbook, moodboard, drawings – nothing worked. Until that day I saw a picture of me wearing the uniform. Than I knew it. And that was the moment my work begun. I thing there were over 150 outfits/trials until I got to the final result.

The hardest thing on the way?

It was my first collection. And everything was very difficult. Time management, fabrics management – I have always needed more fabrics…

5 classic pieces that will always inspire you?

White shirt, oversized T-shirt, black blazer, biker jacket, flared pants.

What’s next?

I want to design and make an extension for CEAU collection, more wearable, but following the same theme.

ramona manghiuc 5


ramona manghiuc 4

ramona manghiuc 8

The style is… personal identity.

Fashion will never be… about rules.

Fashion icnon… Miroslava Duma
The most extravagant thing you wish to design… honestly, I am pleased with the things I have right now.

Who are you? In 3 words… libertine, grateful and not perfect.

ramona manghiuc 7

Alina Aliman & Ramona Manghiuc

Photography: Francisc Sandor / Francisc Photographer


The future of Romanian designs looks pretty amazing