The Romanian Fashion Capital is in Transylvania

Romanian fashion and textile manufacturing have been held in the highest international regard for centuries. Today, many major international fashion brands manufacture their garments in Romania, taking advantage of the advanced know-how, trained workers and low prices. Brands native to the country are also experiencing success, with numerous cities birthing a strong artistic climate of creativity and innovation.

“Romanians are proud of their country’s textile industry and they want to preserve and protect that heritage”, says Alina Rachieru, owner of Romanian brand Pineberry and coordinator of the annual fashion week “Fashion Revolution Romania”.

Alina Rachieru
Alina Rachieru

Transylvanian Hotspots

But what is the fashion landscape these days in Transylvania? Which cities follow most closely current fashion trends?

Aside from Bucharest – which is, of course, as a capital and a city of vast culture is the fashion centre of the country, the leading Transylvanian fashion centres would be: Kolozsvár (Cluj Napoca), Temesvár (Timișoara) and Nagyvárad (Oradea). In fact, for the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century Kolozsvár was the de facto fashion capital of Transylvania.

There was also a period (mainly the early part of the 20th century) when the ladies of Nagyvárad were at the avant-garde of European fashion. Today, however, it is mostly the young generation that pays its dues to fashion,  with the middle-aged generations favouring more traditional styles and the overwhelming majority of elderly people have little or no interest in anything but the most sensible – and affordable – clothing.

Temesvár, however, is a city that follows fashion trends quite closely. It may be due to the fact that it is the second largest city in Romania, or that it is the cultural centre of the Banat region, it being home to three theatres or a large number of universities – if you take a walk in the centre you will notice the nicely dressed women on the streets. Italian fashion is the most popular here, with many Italian shops, and businesses in these large cities of Romania.

Last but not least we have Kolozsvár, despite its rich cultural heritage, its Opera house, its theatre and the vivid cultural life including writers, publishers, actors, directors. It is an outstanding place even as a centre of contemporary Hungarian literature. But people here seem to have little interest in fashion: most of them wear average clothing and you may not see as many fashionable girls as on the streets of Temesvár. Chances are that a well-dressed woman seen on the street is either an actress or a student.

Temesvár, Main Square
Temesvár, main square

Therefore, we would suggest that if you are interested in trendy clothes you should do your shopping in Temesvár, either in the boutiques of its main square or one of its giant shopping malls. Alternatively, there are a good number of Romanian brands selling good quality and up-to-date garments online. Delivery services are excellent.

For more on Transylvanian fashion design, take a look at Walking on Art – Style coming from the lab of a Transylvanian designer.

Author: Orsolya Laura Péterfy