CARMEN SECAREANU - sunglasscurator


One thing we’ve always loved about working in this industry is getting to meet people who have great stories to tell. The ones that really make you dream!

Ever since her debut in 2002, Carmen Secareanu has had a strong identity as a fashion designer and conceptual artist. What inspires us the most about her is her boldness – the sense that she truly is herself and creates her own story and aesthetic.

We hope you’ll love the interview with Carmen, a conversation about fashion and style, art, gender fluidity, the ERA of digital and of course eyewear ;)


Is it a good time to work in fashion? Why?

Depends on what you are doing in the fashion industry.
For me is not a spectacular one, for some time now, fashion is more about big investment than creativity.


Blurred gender aesthetics, especially in fashion, are becoming more and more accepted. What do you think is the role of gender in defining one’s identity?

The moment women started wearing men’s clothing about a century ago, there wasn’t any longer a strong taboo revolving around who’s wearing what.
I guess now is more about the lack of identity characterizing the great majority of modern people, the confusion they have about their own gender which is essential in defining their own identity.


Your clothes are very conceptual and follow a certain architectural structure. Do you see clothes as COLLECTIBLES, just like art pieces are? If so, in which art collections would you say Carmen Secareanu designs fit?

My clothes are not necessarily collectables, although some of the pieces may be. I usually do pret-a-porter with a twist, but meant to perish.


In the digital era, it seems that the biggest portion of fashion week coverage is focused on attendees, influencers and street style rather than on runways. When did street style become more important than the catwalk?

Street style became more important than the catwalk years ago when fashion gave up on creativity and brand identity in favour of bigger sales; when fashion was taken over by business people who think placing an eleven year old blogger in the front row is great publicity. When you create a collection you want to illustrate a vision that can sometimes be too hard to grasp for people. So using street style is just a way to make that vision more tangible, to show people how they can mix iconic pieces with basic items in their day-to-day outfits. It’s marketing.


As a fashion designer, what do you value most – a highly creative and artistic vision or the high appeal and commercial success of the collection?

I value creativity and artistic vision followed by at least a little bit of commercial success otherwise you can’t survive.

How has the continuous digital revolution changed your work process or communication with your customers?

I think it changed the whole world. In a way things are easier now, but the reality is changing continuously and you have to adapt to it all the time.


Have you ever considered doing fashion in another country? Where would that be? Which part of your Romanian inherited aesthetic do you think you’d be taking with you if you were to change countries?

I’ve considered leaving since I was very young. Anywhere is a good option as long as you can make a living. However, I’m still here.
I would take with me the traditional Romanian costume, the inheritance I've used in my work for so long.

Tall Flowers, London Architecture Festival, 2010

If you weren’t doing fashion, what would you be excited to do?

For at least 10 years now I’m also doing design installation.
Starting off with City in Bloom commissioned by Avon, followed by Tall Flowers at the London Architecture Festival in 2010, and then winning the MAK Vienna Biennale contest with a project called Bucharest Veins.
So, if I wasn’t doing fashion, this could have been an area I would have liked to explore.

In the era of digital influencers, who influences you?

I’m old fashioned and not so young any longer. I think it’s safe to say I don’t get influenced anymore, rather I’ve become the one who influences others.


Do you still get impressed? Tell us something that impacted you strongly in the last year.

The high level of stupidity and ugliness, the lack of any moral norms put on display all over the world - from the top to the bottom of society. It makes you wonder.


Name three Romanian contemporary artists you’d like to buy works from and which works would these be?

I already have a few works of contemporary paintings and sculptures by Laura Covaci, Catalin & Ileana Oancea, Alina Samoschi, Diana Tudose, Mariana Gordan. I’ll probably buy more when I find new pieces I like and, of course, afford.


Where do you go to have fun in Bucharest?

Fun is overrated. I just go to concerts at Control Club (located on Constantin Mille 4) and I wait for the open-terrace season to be open, but right now there isn’t a place in Bucharest that I can say I have a preference towards.

You often wear hats and sunglasses. What’s the role of accessories in your wardrobe? Do they start or complete an outfit?

I also wear scarves, but sunglasses all the time and sometimes both. Accessories can either start or complete an outfit, although more often they usually complete it.


Which is your favorite piece from and why?

DITA Eyewear "NACHT-ONE", because I feel these sunglasses fit my style the best.

photos: RALUCA MARGESCU | Creative Concept: Roxana Marcu| location: HALUCINARIUM