The Tailor, the Architect, the Lawyer (Demo)

Dana Tudose-Tianu spoke with three Bucharest-born professionals who practice the same trade as one or both of their parents. She looked at the reasons behind the interviewees’ decision to choose the same career as their parents’.

Razvan Radu is a tailor at Home du Garcon in Bucharest. He just completed the Razvan Radu shirt line and is working on his summer collection. He is 29 years old. His mother is a seamstress.

DTT: Why did you wait until you were 27 to begin studies in sewing?

RR: Right after high school, I began working in fashion, as a fashion consultant. I worked for various high-end stores. I believe it was the right choice, because I learned so much about fashion and fabrics. I worked at LeeCooper, Tom Tailor, I.D. Sarrieri, at Casa Frumoasa. But, at some point, I started to ask myself what my true purpose was.

That’s when I decided to properly study sewing. So, two years ago, I graduated from ILBAH, a Romanian accredited institute where I specialized in pattern making and sewing. My field of practice is men’s bespoke tailoring. But I have been cutting and sewing ever since I was a child.

DTT: How did you find the affinity with your mother’s trade?

RR: I was exposed to her work a lot, as a child. My mother is originally from Turnu Magurele. When she came to Bucharest, she chose a trade. So, she went to work at APACA, where she specialized in men’s fashion. (editor’s note: APACA is a communist-era garment manufacturing factory in Bucharest that had over 18,000 employees). She used to take me and my brother to the factory quite often. I was playing with sewing tools and patterns as early as elementary school. To me, that’s what her workplace was – my playground. And I really liked it. The smell, the sound of the sewing machines, I felt mesmerized by it all.

DTT: Do you remember when you cut your first pattern? Or when you used the sewing machine for the first time?

RR: I usually did this at home. I would lay the fabric on the floor and start cutting. The first two pieces of clothing I ever made were two t-shirts. I was in high school. I used to cut all my pairs of jeans. Redesign them. Add something or cut something out. I did the same with my t-shirts.

DTT: What is your role at Home du Garcon?

RR: I am the Tailor-in-Residence at Home du Garcon. Often, clients find me cutting fabric and working with patterns. I began my official collaboration with Florin Dobre and Sorin Lucian a year ago. We share a space that’s very special. We tried to create a unique experience for our customers. My own space, where I cut and sew, includes a barber’s corner.

DTT: What are three qualities your suits and shirts offer to the person who wears them?

RR: Comfortable, great quality, creative.

Vlad Eftenie is an architect, a lector at the Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism and a photographer. He is 40 years old. In 2014, he won the Open Low Light award at the Sony World Photography Awards. Both his parents are architects.

DTT: When did you begin understanding that your parents were architects, and got an idea about what architecture meant?

VE: Both my mother and father are architects. I spent my early childhood years among architecture magazines, colored pencils, adjustable triangles, engineer’s scales, scissors, glue. The architect’s tools were familiar to me early on. They were always a part of my world, as long as I can remember.

DTT: Did they take you to work with them often?

VE: My mother used to take me with her to the University of Architecture, where she was a young Assistant Professor. Her colleagues were always very nice to me. I used to drop by my dad’s office, too, and received a lot of attention there. The atmosphere, both at the University, and at my father’s office, contributed to the mental image I developed, as a child, that the architecture world is very positive.

DTT: Did you ever think of doing a different type of job?

VE: No. As early as 3rd grade, I used to build architectural models. I knew how to draw quite well, even then. I was good at geometry, too. I had what you can call an architect’s talents, skills, so I went ahead and prepared for the entrance exam, with the full support of my parents.

DTT: Do you talk to your parents about your work? Do you share the latest developments and innovations with them?

VE: Generally, we do talk and they give me advice. My father still practices. Many times, when we visit a city together, we comment on the aspects that an architect’s eye captures, we come up with technical solutions for improvement. It’s a common area of communication, of bonding, if you will, outside of the generational gap.

DTT: Is there any lesson you still need to learn from your parents?

VE: Perhaps the lesson of wisdom. And, maybe, also, the lesson of doing what must be done, first, and then doing what I want.

Andreea Stoica Micu, 34, is an attorney at the Stoica & Associates Law Office in Bucharest. She also runs her family’s wine business, Avincis. She is a published author of children’s books, and the mother of two children. Both her parents are attorneys.

DTT: Did you always want to become a lawyer, like your parents?

AM: Well, my story with law…wasn’t love at first sight. In fact, when I was a teenager, I wanted to be a film director and a screenplay writer.

DTT: So, what changed your mind?  

AM: I realized that practicing law would give me a more balanced life. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to have a family and children, and be present in their lives. I thought it would have been harder, as a film director, to strike a good balance between family and career.

So, studying law seemed the rational thing to do. But after going to law school, day after day, getting myself familiarized with law, something shifted in my perspective. I started loving it. I joined my parents’ office after graduation and today, I can honestly tell you it was a very good choice.

DTT: Did you go to your parents’ office often, as a child? Did you enjoy spending time there?

AM: My parents’ office was like a second home for me. I know some of the lawyers there ever since I was a young child. They watched me grow.

DTT: What did your parents teach you that you feel made a big difference in the way you are today? And is there anything you believe your parents can learn from you?

AM: My mother taught me to use my intuition when reading a file and understanding the key subject of that file. My father taught me how to structure my legal arguments and approach each case with seriousness.

But I have also been teaching them a few things, like communicating with the media, connecting with the needs of our younger clients. There are many entrepreneurs under 40, and that is exactly my age group.

DTT: That takes me to your passion for writing. And not legal writing but writing children’s books. You published three children’s books already.

AM: This part of my life stems from the same creative place that made me want to become a film director. I had been dreaming about writing children’s stories for many years. I felt it was the “time” to do it right after I had my second child. By doing this and going through with it, my inner child regained her power.

DTT: You integrated culture with your wine business. Was this your own initiative? Does it come from your love for literature and art?

AM: We did try to build a cultural hub around our wine domain. We want people to relate to wine as a cultural product. Through wine, people can relate to music, literature, art. But this direction didn’t only come from me. Both my parents love culture, and culture, for our family, is a way of life.

DTT: What are the most valuable life lessons that your mother and father gave you?

AM: My mother taught me how to be honest with myself and, therefore, honest with the others. She taught me that pursuing your dreams and objectives must take into account what others need. My father constantly teaches me how to be balanced.

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