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When we've started the BLOUSE ROUMAINE SHOP platform our first aim seemed very easy fun and mostly rewarding to do. Back in 2010-2013 Californian streets were full of peasant blouses and embroideredd tops and linen folk tunics made by high end designers such as Isabelle Marrant or Tom Ford. In Eastern Europe people  (Romania, Moldovia, Ukraine) were proud to see their traditional blouses seen in the villages and kept by generations and also having a bitter smile becuase the originals could not benefit of fair trade and place in the fashion scene. It was perfect context to unite the technology with artisans and the real blouses, the authentic Romanian blouses embroidered by hand, not industrial machine to benefit the spotlight, the luxury display and the deserved position as a fashion staple in any woman wardrobe around the world.

The Cinderella story of Romanian blouse and the real needs of revival artisans communities

 Our platform works as a curator of best handmade blouses and traditional made garments and an active promoter of new ethics and values in terms of fashion. After all theses years of meeting diverse artisans comunities, hearing so many stories and meeting creators, embroideress, makers, workers, artisan cooperatives and families involved in the legacy of Romanian embroidery we can say we are specialist in 'blouseroumainesology' .The beauty and mastery of the handmade embroidery of ancient Romanian garments, the motifs and handmade patchwork, patterns and colors cannot be equal with any other modern creation of embroidery. There is a spirit of that time, a different dimension of the world and the spirit of the ancestors who could have the patience to sew a year for a masterful embroidery. The value of the vintage finds is priceless, the vintage  Romanian blouse is an investment which needs some work from the part of the buyer also. 


The new blouse crafted by artisans by hand are now available for people around the world. We've curated best Romanian blouses embroideries and artisans who can sew your blouse from the scratch. Our platform adopted the fairtrade policies and pay the full price requested by cooperatives and artisans for their work, their dilema is still the fashion scene which they have to compete with. They don't have stocks of hundreds and thousands of items. 

They use only natural fibers, such as cotton, hemp, flax, cotton thread and silk for embroidery. The time of creating one blouse can last even to 6 months and for that they request a price which is slighly higher than a designer blouse. The problem with these cooperatives is that they lack on human resources and people who can are stll know the skill of handmade embroideries and also the time and pay create a temporary security of the communities and their families, but the art of creating the authentic Romanian blouse by hand with one needle and a lot of skill and time is still endangered. The real need is infrastructure and education, preservation of these precious communities of human cultural patrimony can be first made by education.

First we need to educate ouselfs,we need to rethink the shopping mindset and the fashion system of values.

Fast fashion, industrial fashion is not craftmanship fashion.

Havng a crafted embroidery blouse, made all by hand, it's a highly luxurios  and rare service, you're not paying a label, you are paying the work which is made by request for you. 

Craftsmanship is the quality that comes from creating with passion, care, and attention to detail. It is a quality that is honed, refined, and practiced over the course of a career. 


The leaders and policy makers are responsabile to create an educational and economical context for the future of makers and artisans.

No pain.No gain. One of the struggles of these years of discovery, reinventing, learning while working with many cooperatives or almost lost makers was the lack of knowledge and information about how the businsess of fashion works. The very sad part is that many exploit the lack of information and network of the people. They either pay underwage faires or exploit the drama for creating fancy campaigns, dramatic and clickbite style news and other unthical practices that comes with the story of lost makers communities, or much worse and we didn't see that coming: creating small unscalable businesses by locals with no future vision. Just for some extra pennies.

The struggle is that is very hard to change old mindsets and also to cooperate and protect from other factor who can create more damage than it has been done already. Romanian modern artisans and cooperatives were established during the late 60s beggining of the 70s. During that period of time in Romania the communist regime, values were present. Despite the 'liberal period' of communism regime of the 70s, nowdays cooperatives still have the workflow and mindset of the former regime. True story.

For example, today we work with Romanian cooperatives who are living the last years of the this type of structures. Why we say that?

1. The average age of workers and managers is about 60,the young workers refuse to learn and take this job seriously as a textile maker because they do not belive it cannot offer them a secure future, they prefer taking jobs abroad from their homeland hoping for a better life. The art of creating the Romanian blouse is hard work and needs a lot of time and patience to create it and the makers of Romanain blouse is not still payed according to his work; the fashion system has not yet guarantees a sustainable position.


2. Education, education. Nowdays the world is changing rapidly, the lifestyle and the enviorment and life dynamic are constanly under the urge of reinvention, innovating,creating, keeping up with the trends, fear of missing out something and so many other issues. This force of change can cope and be in line with the tempo of craftmanship and slow movement only by education and consideration. Education of future artisans, education of future leaders of next geneartion fashion labels, fashion brands and fashion retailers. Without education and information, the Romanian blouse, the traditional embroidery as it is now will be history and vintages.

3. Innovation of milenary traditions. The modern cut on ancient garments dilema. 

The original Romanian blouse and the peasant blouses handmade on linen cloth should not be changed from it's shape, fabric, cut. The ritual of making it is sacred, so are the motifs found in the traditional embroidery pattern. The large sleeves, the long length, the smock collar are the original attributes of authentic Romanian blouse, they are having more other distinguish traits such as the crocheted lace called ajur.

The modern cut and interpretation can be made only by designers who are creating tops after the Romanian blouses. There were famous cases such as Tom Ford who created a blouse after the original pattern of traditional Romanian blouse from Fagaras, RomaniaJoseph Altuzzara who made a copy of the Romanian blouse from Southern Region of Romania, Ulla Johnson, Sezane. New emerging independent deisgners selected from our shop reacreated the Romanian blouse, such as Florii brand who reserched the  motifs from Romania, Moldova and Ukraine and created a collection of modernd Romanian blouses.Romanian blouse embroidery FLORII

The difference between the artisans made and designer made is that the artisans creates the blouse from the scratch for you, they pick up the fibers and start sewing after their pattern learnt from generation to genearation, when you interfere with other requests the value of the blouse is different.

The opinions of what is the real Romanian blouse, what is the modern design blouse inpired by Romanian blouse are highly divided between by anthropologists, ethnology specialist, Fashion academy,  fashion designers, brand industries, social media influencers, social communities press and and artisans.

Consideration is the future of fashion,choosing locally made garments with respect of fair trade and future of a career and treasure of human patrimony which is still under sword of Damocles.



Photo sources: Blouse Roumaine Shop archive, Vogue, Jospeh Altuzzara archive, Florii archive

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