Flavour gets up close and personal with Olga Roh, the charismatic designer of ROHMIR.
Tell Flavour a bit about your childhood and where you’re from
Born in Moscow, I was a happy and independent girl, always hungry to read and learn. Living in a world without any fashion magazines, I found the idea of designing my own clothes very exciting.
When did you first realise that you wanted to go into fashion?
I can’t recall when the idea really came into form, I think perhaps I was born with the desire to create and style.
What mainly influenced you to start your brand?
I’ve always felt most at home in the fashion industry, it’s my realm where I am most comfortable. I was most probably encouraged to start ROHMIR by my friends and clients who I had been making dresses for. It’s important for me to create collections that are unique and make women feel special.
Can you tell me about your new beautiful S/S13 collection and what it was inspired by?
I have always been attracted to the free spiritedness of the 1920’s – the soft unstructured silhouettes and light catching fabrics that so epitomise the era took the collection in a very different direction from what we have done in the past. For SS13, pieces incorporated fringing, pleats, feathers and generous embellishment. The collection is called ‘Panache’ a word that suggests a certain insouciant extravagance. The woman who wears this collection is fiery and compulsive and has a keen eye for the luxurious.
Have you had an educational background in design?
It was important for me to be able to understand fully the history of art and fashion so I studied arty at University in Moscow. I particularly enjoyed learning about the designs of the twenties in the former Soviet Union, and enjoyed visiting exhibitions around the city. It was an exciting time to grow up in Moscow – we learned to sew because it was not possible otherwise to have a dress that was out of the ordinary. We learned how to understand patterns from the Burda magazine which, in the late 80s, was our Bible of fashion. I don’t think you could imagine Rohmir in this mood of 80s?! But for the young girls at the time it was the Burda. We were creative and wouldn’t think twice about making a dress out of curtain lace or velvet skirt from and old pillow cover. Creativity as it is not possible to îmagine in our days. I then went on to a Masters in fashion design at Marangoni Institute in London. At that time I was already holding a PHD of the University in Bern.
Where are you from and what brings ROHMIR to the UK?
My fashion is cosmopolitan as I am, easy to wear, easy to travel with, and works with all other brands. I see the styling results in the UK shootings in the press and must say I have never seen such a great cooperation and understanding for the art and fashion as it is the case in UK. I simply adore this wonderful style and nonchalance. It is a perfect match with my ideas and I feel ROHMIR works well for the taste of the modern British woman: smart and cool.
How would you describe your brands vision?
There is a long way to explore what a woman needs! A long way to learn from my customers and I always keep very close contact with the clients and press. I don’t create fashion for fashion, but fashion for the real women. With real body and individuality. I am on my way to the 6 th year of a hard work, there’s no going back now!
Describe the kind of customer that best suits ROHMIR?
It is a woman with a very clear vision what suits her well, what she needs, and how she can mix the styles and brands in her wardrobe. She wears a simple top and jeans or pants with a designer jacket, or an evening dress to feel beautiful. She impresses with simplicity and spirit rather than with a fashion statement. The dress is just a form of the expression not the only goal.
Have you had any celebrities buy/wear any of your clothing?
I was so excited when I saw my pieces on Rosario Dawson, Kelly Rowland and Liv Tyler!
Have you got any advice for young and budding designers?
Please let me know where the place for the magician who gives a good advice and help young and budding designers… I will run to this place! In all seriousness, it would be to never give up and listen to the customer.
So what does the future hold for ROHMIR?
A lot of exciting creative work, a lot of fabulous people and places, and a lot of happy moments.
For more information on the collection visit www.rohmir.com