Yoana Baraschi, born in Bucharest, Romania, was immersed in art and style and culture from a very early age. Raised in a family of artists, their influence shaped her view. Her mother, Elli Baraschi, was an educator and a true fashion icon who felt that being stylish and elegant was the ultimate creative expression for a woman. Her father, Constantin Baraschi, a leading figure in the Romanian art world, was a renowned sculptor and Dean of the Fine Arts Institute. Her artistic studies continued at the Fine Arts Institute of Bucharest where she received a BA in Sculpture. In the late 70s, a few years after the death of her parents, Yoana left communist Romania for Paris, where she got her first design job working for Emmanuelle Khahn as an embroidery designer. During her four years in Paris, she also worked at Studio de Style Jean Azel on collections such as Leonard, Cacharel, Mugler, and Faconable.
In the 80’s, Yoana moved to New York where she began to work as an illustrator for WWD and textile designer for various studios. Later on she shifted her focus by working as a shoe designer for Mario Valentino and was introduced to the factories of Napoli and trade shows of Milan. Traveling extensively through Italy, Yoana was exposed to the finest traditions of craftsmanship, giving her strong reference point to her career. It was during this time that she started I.B. Design Studio, which was created to translate European concepts for an American market. This led her to travel and extensively throughout India, Romania, Paris, and London.
Yoana’s passion for hand loomed textiles and vintage embroideries brought her to India numerous times a year. India naturally became a second home to her. It was here that Yoana formed her strong sense of color and love for traditional artisanal techniques, which can be found heavily throughout her collection. Yoana did not slow down until she gave birth to Sophia, her first daughter. At this point, she was hired as the Design Director for Guess.
The turning point of Yoana’s designer career came in 1999, when she began working as Creative Director for Betsey Johnson. Here Yoana was exposed to the business success of the company, and how it was achieved through Betsey’s own originality and vision. It was this time period that allowed Yoana to cultivate the courage to live her own vision and start her own collection. In 2002, armed with her first collection created in her apartment, Yoana found a showroom to represent her line, received her first order from Saks Fifth Avenue, and was invited to participate in the esteemed Intermezzo Trade Show.
Yoana Baraschi now has showrooms representing her collection in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, and is sold by more than 600 retailers worldwide. During her 10 years in business, Yoana has continued to amass an impressive roster of fans amongst young and stylish Hollywood; Halle Berry, Sienna Miller, Taylor Swift, Olivia Wilde, Rachel Bilson, Blake Lively, Heidi Klum, and Lauren Conrad to name a few.
Yoana finds balance in her life by practicing daily meditation and working out on Pilates machines. During summer months, she loves gardening on her rooftop terrace or at her country home where her husband started a community garden. Yoana travels regularly to Paris to be with her friends & family and to find inspiration in her European roots.