When French fashion house Dior included a Romanian-inspired jacket in its 2017 collection, it hit the shelves with a price tag topping 30,000 euro ($35,100).
In Romania’s rural Bihor region, the jacket is less of a seasonal statement piece, and more of a treasured part of their national costume. But while Dior was raking in the cash, traditional craftsman were seeing their work slowly dying out. That’s what Bihor Couture wants to change.
“For years, big fashion houses have been using inspiration from local cultures. Lately, this has turned into a global phenomenon, with names like Tory Burch, Valentino or Louis Vuitton presenting original traditional designs from all over the world as new items in their collections,” the team says.
“While it makes sense for inspiration to happen, we think it’s a bit unfair that nothing returns in terms of money or even PR to the community that’s struggling to keep traditions alive. As a result, these traditions are dying.”
The new label, backed by Romanian fashion magazine Beau Monde, is now helping authentic designers sell their work, including handmade shirts, jackets and necklaces. Painstakingly detailed and often time-consuming, most of the pieces are only available on pre-order.
To check out the collection, or to support the campaign, you can visit the Bihor Couture website here.