"For work days, I usually get up and it’s really split between being a mom and being at work. During the first half of the day, in the morning, I stay with my daughter. Then, during the night, that consists of doing plans, doing fittings," shares Vania Romoff as we chatted with her one sunny morning in a quaint restaurant in Makati. She arrived decked in her signature effortlessly chic style, this time it means a crisp white buttondown, face free of makeup, but skin glowing and totally peg-worthy.
At a glance, the life of a fashion designer may seem glamorous, but as she juggles her multiple responsibilities as a fashion designer, a wife, and a mother, there's no doubt that high-pressure situations and stress might take a toll. But Vania knows it's all worth it. For one, in fashion, you’ll be creating way more than just art—you’ll be creating art people live their lives in. And while some may think clothes and fashion in general are superficial, a closer look will show each and every one of us just how much impact they have on a person's confidence and outlook.
When asked on what she loves the most about the job, she says, "I think it's the idea of being able to think of something and imagining it, visualizing, seeing it come to life and seeing it on someone and seeing that person feel extra beautiful and extra confident when they put on what ever it is that I have made for them."
A Good Balance
For the longest time, Vania's life mostly has been about doing plans and fittings for her clients. But just early this year, something that she wasn't quite prepared for came up: Being a mother. "I think having my daughter, Emilia Simone, has really become a learning journey for me. Being responsible for someone for the first time in your life other than yourself is a test of strength."
Hence, one of the things she puts a premium on is balance. "I think it's important to know your priorities and to be able to really balance schedule. It's great to have a team behind you but more importantly at the end of the day, it’s important you should give yourself equally, if not, to both work and being a mother."
Being one of today's most influential fashion designers and one of the ambassadors of skincare brand Physiogel's #EverydayStrong campaign, a call of encouragement to Filipinas suffering from sensitive skin to not be held back by their skin condition from living the lives they’ve always wanted, Vania also calls to raise female aspirations, empowering women to build stronger goals and celebrate lives, aspirations, and achievements.
Being a Mompreneur
Being a mom is a full-time job, but, despite the round-the-clock demands of motherhood, more and more, Vania still manages to pursue her own creative paths through her designs. "I read books and people say things but its different when you have your own child. It’s like you have to learn everything day by day," she shares.
Well, absolutely, it's hard to have it all. And, pretty much, being a mom to Emilia Simone got Vania geared up for the roller coaster ride that entrepreneurship entails. Two of the most challenging but rewarding endeavors a person can undertake are raising a family and running a business. Both are full-time commitments that demand a whole lot of patience, perseverance and love. "The motherhood life has been great. Its always been a learning journey for me. I find strength in my daughter. I find strength in every little thing that I do," she adds.
The Designer Life
"I work with everyday women and women who are with the high profile, celebrity women. And I think they are equally as interesting," Vania says. Her heartwarming personality and effortless fashion sense is what has made her a good fashion designer and one with a collection that's always tasteful and timeless beyond belief.
"Strength can be in a flowy easy dress. Because strength can be found in any thing feminine," she ends.
Beautiful Inside and Out
We also can't deny that aside from her glamorous style, Vania also has one of the prettiest faces in the industry. and as we know, beauty is a word with endless meaning. Despite this, it does tend to describe a positive energy coming from within, not a state achieved by makeup. And if you want others to feel that you are beautiful, you need to feel the same about yourself, both inside and out. Here, Vania shares some tips on how to let your innate beauty radiate:
"First of all, you have to be happy because beauty follows when you're happy with yourself or happy with your life. And then, you also have to be comfortable with yourself because when you're comfortable, it follows confidence. Third, I think, be kind. Kindness always brings that sort of light. Fourth, I think, take care of yourself. Things that you eat, things you put in your face. Fifth, it's good to laugh a little and not be too serious. It's good to be serious, too, in a sense that you have to attain your goals but once in a while, relax. Have a sip of wine. Take care of yourself . And sixth, probably, inspire people! I think when you inspire people you see it around, when you inspire colleagues, when you inspire friends. I think you bring a sense of good into them and then it just revolves. Then you’ll be happy and then you’ll be relaxed and content and everything just follows."
Now, here's a guide on how to dress for your body type according to fashion designer Vania Romoff. Plus, get to know who her celebrity clients are and get fashion advice, too!
The muse: Kelsey Merritt. "Skinny women, it’s easy. You can wear almost anything you want. Embrace your body type. Wear the most comfortable for you. There’s no limit to what you have to wear. Maybe, just go on what you're comfortable with."
The muse: Anne Curtis. "Embrace your curves. Highlight you assets and that’s it!"
The muse: Sharon Cuneta. "Being voluptuous is beautiful and you have to show it. There’s no need to hide it by wearing something extra baggy. Wear something that hugs your body. Wear something that hugs your body in all the right places. And yeah, just wear it with confidence."
The muse: Charo Santos-Concio. "It’s okay to step outside of your comfort zone. It doesn’t mean you have to go the whole the nine yards to do it. You can try a higher heel. It doesn’t have to be a full blown 360 change. You can always do it one step at a time."
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Photographs (Vania) by Gio Vibar and from Instagram.com/vaniaromoff