In a sense Deilani is a journey, it’s a reflection of our own searches and transformations
as people who breathe life into this brand
I was recently invited to answer a few questions about Deilani for slowliving
, a charming blog where Miky writes – I am using her own words – about beautiful everyday moments and finding joy in the simple things.
Some of you are just getting to know our brand, others have been around for a while and might be curious about the changes we have made lately. Either way, I thought it might be interesting to also share this interview on our own blog, as a closer look on what Deilani means. So here it is.
M: What is the story behind your brand? How did it all start?
D: Our story goes back in the early 90s, when my parents started their own business in fashion, producing premium products for international brands. It began with only 2 or 3 employees and it grew slowly through very challenging work. It was in 2004 that I created Deilani, but if truth be told, at the time it was just a vaguely defined project. I’m not one of those people who knew exactly what they wanted and went for it. One thing was clear to me though: the high quality our factory delivered abroad could not be found much on the Romanian market or if it was there, it seemed absurdly expensive. Therefore, my initial impulse came from the desire to offer Romanian ladies timeless designs and quality craftsmanship, at reasonable prices. All the rest was unknown. So, there were many years of searches, of deep learning of all the aspects of this business - from fabrics, pattern making, sewing machines and production planning to photography, visual communication, client service and so on. At some point my husband also came on board and the borderline between private life and work became very thin.
We got to know this field better every day and along with the experience, also came the questions: if the textile industry is the second largest polluter in the world, what’s our place in it? Do we want to be part of this? Should we give it all up or should we be searching for a way to impact the industry in a positive way? How can we make our customers more aware of the realities and more responsible? While searching for answers, it became clear that what we had been building up to that point was not fulfilling enough and was not what we aspired to on the long term. So, in 2016 we closed our two well-established shops and started a different approach, online exclusively, investing less in retail and more in fabrics that incorporate fair treatment of workers and which are friendlier with the environment and with our skin.
Once the destination was defined, the expression of the brand also became very clear. As a result, we came up with a completely new visual identity, one that I love and totally resonate with.
M: Your creations seem to have a quintessential French look. What inspires your designs?
D: There’s a certain way of living that inspires us and we see ourselves as a lifestyle brand rather than sole fashion. Our designs are uncomplicated, we create feminine timeless pieces and mostly focus on craftsmanship and savoir-faire, on feeling natural and comfortable.
M: Can you describe a usual day in your design studio?
D: I don’t think people imagine how much testing we do every day. We test each fabric’s resistance or shrinkage, we make tests for choosing the right thread or the right kind of stitches, needles and interlining. Validating a prototype also involves several fitting sessions. Small adjustments – like 1 cm here, 0.5 cm there - can really make a difference.
M: There are a lot of small brands born, promoting quality and sustainable materials and a timeless design. But we still live in a world of fast fashion, where big brands release a new collection every season. In your vision, is the future of fashion optimistic or pessimistic?
D: I wish I had an answer to that. The current social and political international climate does not look very optimistic, so it is difficult to look at fashion differently. It ultimately depends on the choices each one of us makes every day. Take for example this trend of constantly looking for discounts – people are looking for bargains rather than the inner qualities of what they are buying. What happens is that brands artificially rise prices, which allows them to offer those huge discounts of 70-80%. At Deilani we don’t resonate with these strategies, but ultimately brands like ours can only be kept alive by the people’s choices. I feel we should all keep in mind that what seems to be cheap is very often cheap on the expense of someone’s health, or dignity, or environmental degradation.
The positive aspect is that I see more and more people who are willing to get informed and become more responsible when it comes to consumption in general, not only in fashion. So, there is hope, I guess.
M: How would you describe the women you design for?
D: Positive, mindful, aiming for a balance between modern and romantic.
Coffee moment with Miky, April 2018