“The only designer to arrive at Paris Fashion Week via Paris Beauvais airport,” is how French newspaper Le Monde opens its special report on Romanian designer Florin Dobre (in picture, above). Le Monde sent a journalist to follow Florin Dobre and his team in the run up to the Paris show and during the event itself, and found that the journey to the catwalk was no walk in the park.
Despite having recognition in Romania and causing a stir with his debut, arriving at Paris Beauvais airport was the least of the difficulties the fashion designer faced when trying to bring his work to Paris. Without a boutique and three shows in Paris, Florin Dobre was not eligible for the official program of Paris Fashion Week. Finding a venue was difficult, the Romanian embassy stepped in and offered its fabulous Byzantine Hall, but there were further problems getting enough electricity into the room for the show. Many people, including models, worked for Florin Dobre’s show unpaid, taking photos, blogging, drumming up support and handing out invitations. Florin Dobre said flights were still being bought for some of the models 10 hours before going to Paris.
In the end, with a lot of effort and goodwill involved, Florin Dobre’s first show in Paris went ahead. He said that in his opinion “men’s fashion is non-existent in Romania,” and that it is difficult to develop as a designer in this context. Paris was a chance not only for the designer to bring Romanian fashion to the world’s attention, but also to see where Romania is compared to the rest of the fashion world.