ATU Body Couture is a Romanian designer label launched in June 2011 by Lacramioara Ilie. The idea was born from the founder’s needs for the simple clothes with a strong personality: quality, natural and limited edition collections. The brand grew slowly and organically, together with its clients who grew to learn how to wear statement fashion. For the last two years, Romanian designer label has become one of the media’s favourites.
Fashion Bloc: Who are the people behind the brand?
Lacramioara Ilie, ex-legal counsellor with international FMCG clients, who was in continuous search for something different in fashion, which was not easy to find in Romania at that time. People were focused on big brands and usually neglected local designers. She started in 2006 by opening the first Concept Store, a unique place where Romanian Designers could sell their products and where the clients could buy a complete made in Romania outfit by Romanian designer labels.
Catalin Valean, graduated in 2013 from the University of Art and Design from Cluj Napoca – Romania with Magna Cum Laude. After graduating and many local fashion awards later, Catalin moved to Germany to pursue his creative path. However, several years later he returned to Romania and since 2016 is our creative Director and we are very proud of him.
FB: What does ATU Body Couture mean?
ATU – An element, which in some circumstances provides someone with an advantage or an extra chance. – From French ‘ATOUT’. We think it is a privilege to have a personal ATU (asset) because clothes represent a universe.
FB: Is Romania your main market?
Currently, Romania is our main market but we intend to enter other markets in Europe.
FB: What is your future vision?
Our vision is to offer our clients clothes with cintemporary fell and look to highlight their personality and help them feel special.
We started to import more fabrics from Italy, France and India to develop new collections and lines. This fall we will launch ATU Evening: a special evening wear collection respecting the brand’s identity: clean cuts, edgy design approach, an unexpected mixture of fabrics.
FB: What do you think of the Romanian fashion scene?
The Romanian Fashion scene has grown tremendously in the last years. Lots of young talented designers started their own business even they don’t have much support from the state but they manage with European funds or some sponsorships.
Even the fashion consumers started to more appreciate local designers for their hand made garments and limited edition collections.
Versace will always sell more than Rosie Assoulin and this is a reality applicable globally and locally. The change will come once the fashion consumers are educated and understand design.
FB: What challenges do you face as an independent designer brand in Romania?
Fashion is growing slowly locally, and being a fashion consumer involves having a good financial status. Unfortunately, wealthy Romanian people are not very open minded in spending their money on locally designed and made fashion. In this way, the really talented Romanian designers are disadvantaged by higher turnovers and bigger international names as their role in the industry is replaceable. Versace will always sell more than Rosie Assoulin and this is a reality applicable globally and locally. The change will come once the fashion consumers are educated and understand design.
FB: Can you describe ATU in one sentence?
Femininity celebrated by comfort and style.
FB: If ATU Body Couture was a song, what would it be?
It’s impossible to define ATU through one song only as it changes moods and develops differently with every season, of course maintaining its signature trademark. I would rather say that every collection can relate to a particular song. “The Sea and her Lover” for example, is related to a song Steaua de Mare – Babadag.