Shopping for bags can be boring, especially if you look around regular shops in random shopping malls where everything looks more or less the same. But Bucharest is a good place to find alternative ways of shopping and gorgeous local products with distinct personality. Buying a statement designer bag can be a great fashion investment, this being an item that will fllater your outfits for years.
You'll be surprised how wonderful the shopping experience can become when you look for quality items. Hidden in a coquette villa, close to the center of Bucharest, in a fancy neighborhood filled with embassies and parks, there you'll find Maestoso, a small atelier shop for leather bags and accessories.
Claudia Teuceanu is the creative mind behind the brand. All items are designed by her, using the inspiration gathered throughout the years studying at the University of Architecture or throughout her life experience. If you're looking for a fashion investment in a Romanian brand, then it's time to discover Maestoso.
Hi Claudia, tell us a bit about your background, how did you end up designing for Maestoso?
Claudia: I was born and raised in Romania, where I grew up with an instinctive appreciation of visual stimuli thanks to my parents’ love of design and craftmanship.
Ever since I first thought of what I wanted to do in the future, I knew for sure that architecture will be my guidance. So I decided to follow 6 years of the University of Architecture and Urbanism “Ion Mincu” in Bucharest, which formed and shaped my vision about design and arts.
I was always passionate about fashion and small design, because for an architect, imagination quickly becomes a creative tool and non-conformism, and the idea of me referring to the proportions of the human body attracted me a lot. I liked designing at small scale, whether it was about furniture, lightning, jewelry or clothes.
So, after finishing my degree in architecture in 2015, I decided to go on an entrepreneurial path, and create the Maestoso brand. I went then into a large research of Romanian and European profile markets, and I could see a need of a brand with a minimalist sophistication approach.
I imagined it as a fusion of sharp lines inspired from architecture, and the timeless elegance of the minimalist style, formulating a fresh and forward-looking interpretation of luxury, where each design is defined by signature handcrafted metal bars.
What is the most special thing about your products?
C.: What defines an Maestoso product has to be its unique approach to design, and of course, its amazing quality. Or how I like to say, Maestoso was born when bold sensuality met minimalist sophistication.
What is your favorite item from your collection - the one you wear the most?
C.: I identity myself with each piece of design I create, and love every bag from our collections, but I have to say that what truly has my heart is the Iridium Bag. It is a part from our luxury collection, that was launched a few months ago, and I believe that it embodies all the design principles I believe in, vision and high quality positioning.
Who are your customers? (Men and women)
C.: The majority of our customers are women, aged between 27 and 45, from corporate and business environments, passioned about statement design and orientated towards high quality products. They understand the idea of slow-fashion and are attracted by the entire process behind a local brand, and they truly understand it’s true concept.
How did you decide for the beautiful Kiseleff villa as a showroom for Maestoso?
C.: When we first visited this neo-romanesque villa back in December 2017 I had the feeling that it will become The House of Maestoso. I imagined that it will house not only our showroom, but also the place where everything is created, the workshop. And since I am quite a persistent and consequent entrepreneur, and I’m involved in every stage of the process, I chose to make it also my home.
What is your favorite part of the Bucharest?
C.: My favourite part of Bucharest is the area where our villa is located in. It’s in the north of the city, and is a small piece of the old Little Paris. Here all the streets, the houses and the entire atmosphere are quite special, and different from the rest of the city. The history of this place is very rich and interesting, and you can always find a new “jewelry” just by having a walk in the neighborhood.
How would you describe the path of a young Romanian designer? What about the path of young architects?
C.: I like to believe that our society is in an accelerated development, and begins to channel its attention to more creative domains, and Romanian brands, artists and designers are more and more encouraged to grow. Also financially, there are a lot of programs and business accelerators that a designer can apply to, and turn its ideas and visions into reality.
So in this environment, a designer has to always channel its creativity into exploring new breadths, with a lot of courage and determination to achieve success.
What are your plans for the future (of Maestoso or other projects of yours)?
C.: The next step for Maestoso during the course of 2019 involves expansion with a capsule shoes collection, and also the development of our clothing line. We would also like to launch a jewelry collection handcrafted in brass and leather.
I portray my brand in the following years as a successful and aspirational one, and I truly believe that is has the potential to reach international appreciation.
Where can people find you, apart from the showroom?
C.: Maestoso is always available online on our website www.maestoso-design.com where you can easily check for new items and news about the brand, and in offline stores in Paris, Malta and Oman.
Thank you for your time, Claudia! :)