EXCLUSIVE: Metrowear Icon Vania Romoff Shares The Spotlight With Her Celebrity Muses
There is something about Vania Romoff that evokes a feminine mystique—a je ne sais quoi captured in a myriad of fashion editorials, magazine covers, best-dressed celebrities, stylish weddings and luxurious runways. At a glance, the elements of her designs are nothing outlandish, just the usual lady’s touch of bows (by far her most recognizable motif), soft ruffles, layers of tulle and sumptuous draping. Yet, for all its classic elements, there is something highly recognizable in her designs, which seems to hit the sweet spot of beguilement and subtlety, between old romance and the modern woman.
Vania Romoff's creations have been featured in several Metro covers and fashion editorials / Some of the looks from Vania's collections over the years
These days, it’s impossible to discuss the new wave of Philippine fashion designers without mentioning the designer and her namesake label. Vania Romoff is ubiquitous, but only because she has come this far, steadfastly building her brand and business over time. Now, as she approaches her 10-year milestone in fashion, we look back into the twists, knots and turns that have shaped her stunning career, culminating to this very moment as she becomes this year’s Metrowear Icon—a rare spotlight reserved only to those who have truly made their mark in the local fashion industry.
“A Vania Romoff muse would be someone who is strong," the fashion designer says. “[She] isn’t afraid to show her femininity, because I think there is always strength in claiming that. She is empowered, she is of the world. She is now, and she is always inspired.”
Exciting times are always just around the corner for Vania. She had just wrapped up her pre-holiday collection, and by now, she was in the thick of her Metrowear collection. About a month ago, she dressed up Bea Alonzo, Erich Gonzales, and Leila Alcasid for the much talked-about ABS-CBN Ball. Little did she know then that Erich, who wore her stunning white ball gown creation, would eventually take the winning slot of Metro’s
Best-Dressed List. Regardless, Vania found time to squeeze in our photoshoot with her and her celebrity muses: Anne Curtis-Smith, Janine Gutierrez, Steph Kienle-Gonzalez, Jess Wilson, Mari Jasmine, and Clara Aseniero.
While there have been many celebrities dressed in Vania Romoff designs over the years, Vania’s muses are not always showbiz superstars; although she definitely has the likes of Anne Curtis-Smith and Janine Gutierrez in her roster of loyal clientele. Some of her muses are also active influencers in the digital sphere, like TV host and model Mari Jasmine, as well as "It" girl Jess Wilson. Other muses are driven working professionals, like Stephanie Kienle-Gonzalez, COO of Philux, and Clara Aseniero, model and urban analyst. Each woman is unique in her beauty, and most importantly, in her own hustle; hence why Vania’s creations will always have that “sense of ease” regardless of embellishments.
These past few years have definitely been a whirlwind for Vania, both in her personal life and business. Her brand successfully expanded to include a bridal line in 2014, and by 2015 (the same year she first joined Metrowear), she had established her e-commerce website. In early 2016, she gave birth to her beautiful daughter Emilia, who has been a constant inspiration and joy to her; and in 2017, she married her longtime boyfriend, Steven Füglister. By 2018, she set up the first Vania Romoff store in Rockwell Powerplant Mall, another pivotal point in her career, she notes; and before this year ends, she would be a Metrowear Icon.
Vania Romoff at her boutique in Power Plant Mall | Photograph by Pat Buenaobra
When asked about how she envisions the next 10 years of Vania Romoff, Vania keeps herself in check. “It’s pretty crazy to think about the next ten years, she says, preferring to look forward to the immediate future at hand. “The next thing for me is to really try and make it outside the Philippines, slowly.”
But for now, where she is at the moment, sitting on her makeup chair and prepping for her solo Metrowear show, is worth savoring. The journey of a decade was arduous, but looking back at them now is a cause for celebration. Among her fondest memories as a young designer, this was the most surreal: “I remember attending Cary Santiago’s Metrowear [show]. It was the first Metrowear I attended," she shares. At that time, she was still a fashion student in Manila, just on the cusp of shutting down her store. “I was sitting there in the audience, and I remember dreaming to just to one day have that. But I never knew that I would reach this point, that I’m going to be the one presenting!”
“Now, I’m sitting here, and I’m getting ready for the exact same show.”, Vania reiterates excitedly, as if in disbelief of her own amazing story. “But this time, I’m not at the audience. I’m actually there!”
Read the full article on Metro magazine, out on stands soon!
Photographed by BJ Pascual
Produced by Grace Libero-Cruz and Kate Paras
Fashion Editor: Randz Manucom
Makeup by Anthea Bueno (Vania, Jess, Mari), Omar Ermita for M.A.C (Janine), Rea Aquino (Clara, Steph), and Robbie Pinera (Anne)
Hairstyling by Mong Amado (Vania, Jess), George Aliben for Aveda (Clara, Steph), Ethan David (Mari), Mark Familara (Janine), and Raymond Santiago (Anne)
Fashion Assistant: Carmen Zeta
Nails by Luz Fortuno for Triple Luck Brow and Nail Salon