I know the Romanian brand DaDa since I was at University and I loved their tops and bags with black cats. And I was pretty happy to see again the cool things made by them, recently, at Materia leather fair. DaDa won Molecule-F prize at Materia fair. And I was happy to talk, in their beautiful workspace, with Oana Păunescu (she the one who responds to all our questions) and Ioana Covalciuc, about their new collection of bags, about the long history of DaDa in Romanian fashion scene, about the movies and… cats. (And because we all were dreaming of some sunny days, we have included in out shooting the new products, from In Between collection, but also some colourful bags, from Spring/Summer 2017 collection – We all Scream for Ice Cream!)
Why a collection based on leather?
Because we are a leather company and we have been since 1991. Because leather is alive and become more beautiful in use.
And why the collection is name In Between? What was the mood board for this collection?
In the last 20 years I always found myself in between two things I love the most: movies and fashion. In Between is a collection that tries to travel between film and fashion. The mood was anything from Then and Now: unusual shapes in nature, Harley and Davidson first bikes, motorcycle saddlebags and… caramel candies.
You are in Romanian fashion world for more than 25 years. What went good, what turned wrong on the Romanian fashion scene in these years?
DaDa company was establish in 1991, having fun doing bags with character, that eventually will become part of the small and great experiences of our lives. Starting 1991, for almost 15 years DaDa was a darling of Romanian fashion, but in 2004 as fast-fashion concept stores appeared, our company start to drift and we struggled to stay in business. It was a crucial period of transition when, in order to reduce costs, we had to close all the shops we had in shopping malls and also DaDa company that designed clothes was closed. What save us from totally disappearing from the market was a new company, DaDa Costumes, specialised in design and manufacture of movie costumes.
For a few good years DaDa Bags was lost in transition, with eroding design, until two years ago when I pursued Ioana Covalcic, collaborator designer for DaDa to express her playful surrealistic ideas even if that would put us outside of the mainstream.
DaDa newest bags collections employs Ioana’s unique aesthetic and her avid interest in exploring different shapes and volumes.
In the last years Romanian designers are living better prospect and that is because the development of digital platforms, fashion bloggers and…. Millennials that prefer to dress in unique fashion, to stand out from a crowd.
What is the biggest challenge for a Romanian brand nowadays?
A Romanian brand has to make an impact and to create a brand identity.
You said that this collection, In Between, is closely linked to the cinema scene. If you would do a collection based on one movie, how this would be?
We would love to do a collection based on Blade Runner 2049.
The perfect movie for the fall/winter 2017/2018 DaDa collection would be… Harley and the Davidsons.
The signature item for DaDa, over the year was… DaDa black cat bag.
What’s next for DaDa? Dreaming of ☺ having fun!
Photography: Daniel Păduraru