The Designer Who Brings Joy after the Crisis

Genoveva Hossu will pin Cluj on the map of the famous brands Ralph Lauren and Christian Lacroix.

Ambitious, exuberant, detail-oriented and always on the move, she is comfortable wearing both rubber boots on construction sites, and the Chanel pip toes to the business meetings. This year she will bring, for the first time in our country, the Ralph Lauren and Christian Lacroix decorations. The designs a la Cluj have not passed unnoticed as the Vogue magazine in Italy dedicated a generous space to her project at Belvedere.

Is your approach international or traditional?
We believe ourselves to be pioneers in decorating at a local level: we help the people who resort to our services to actually define themselves. The space that we are presently using has the same standards as any showroom in Paris or London; it can be transported there any time. I personally love the classical style and I use elements from the past, whereas my associate, Ioana Mezei prefers the contemporary trends. The most important thing is that we complement each other.

You attended design courses in London, with Kelly Hoppen. Is it safe to say you have already breached into the elite of the design world?
We’ve just signed a contract with Ralph Lauren, a brand we are premiering in Romania, but the negotiations have been extremely difficult and have lasted for 2 years. I eventually persuaded them to come to the heart of Transylvania: they were surprised we were not from Bucharest; it was something quite new for them. The decorative textiles will be sent here directly from the USA. Ralph Lauren will have its own special section. This year, we are bringing the Christian Lacroix brand, as well.

Are you considering the Ralph Lauren fashion lines too, even if it’s a completely different field?
It is possible that we collaborate on this project; my partner is very much interested in this direction.

What is the project you consider the most important in your work so far?
There are several: the Belvedere Society Club project, where we brought equitation in the public space and this was featured also in Vogue Italy magazine. Also the “Ship” in Iulius Mall, several resident houses or pension houses in Switzerland, Austria or France. At present we are working on two public projects and five private ones.

What value must the apartment have for a person to afford a decorator?
You can decorate a one room apartment, the most important thing is that your living space reflects your own personality and this is where the consultant comes into play. I am not adept of showroom houses, meaning you get your furniture from the store and bring it at home. Our mission is to help people create a space which reflects their personality.

What is the necessary sum to redecorate a two-room apartment and feel we’re getting a brand new home?
It can be done with no more than 2500 euros. Many of those who decide to work with us are surprised to find out that it’s a cheaper option than just buying what comes along, and that decorators suggest better and cheaper materials and we also get better offers than one can find in catalogues.

How did the Children’s Ship in Iulius Mall come into being?
I was just passing through the mall and I thought it was perfect for it. I later on suggested this to the managers and they accepted. I am glad it was such a success.

Can you feel the economic crisis in your field?
I am inclined to say no, the demand hasn’t gone down. Instead, we are working 12 to 14 hours a day, depending on the project. I have an interview now, and then off to the construction site and in the evening, a business meeting.

How much do you have to invest in a venture like this one? How do you measure the client’s satisfaction?
It’s hard to say how much I’ve invested; we have to keep up with the trends. One cannot afford to stock up. Our yearly turnover is about 400.000 euros. We take it one step at a time and we don’t stretch our arm further than our sleeve can reach. If we have satisfied customers we get recommendations, as well. Satisfaction can be assessed in our client’s aftermath behaviour: some of them send us flowers every year.

What is the opinion on decorators these days?
The new leaders form the Romanian Architects’ Order have already expressed interest for the local market. They realised they cannot take care of everything and so, they address for our services.

How are the students doing? Do you work with them?
I would say I have worked better with students from Arts than the ones form the Design department.

What are the trends for this year?
Natural elements are preferred; the closeness to nature and the predilection in colour is for blazes like: red, green and turquoise. We want to restore joy after the crisis.

Source: Ziua de Cluj

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