View All Articles | Back to Previous Page

November 06, 2013 11:08 am Photographed by Timor Raz

Designers to Watch: Roomeur

By Lisa J. Springsteel

Comments (0) | Log in or register to post comments

Haggit Kassif and Omer Poizner are the two designers behind the blossoming fashion label Roomeur. Hailing from Isreal, they have always set their sights on landing in the Big Apple to create their inspiring collections. Now based in New York, we give you Roomeur.


Inspiration can come from anywhere, but what generally influences your collections?

Our inspiration usually starts from a fantasy that we are creating in our minds when we try to capture an imaginary moment like a frame from a movie, or some surrealistic painting that tells some mysterious story. From there we start to understand what we want to research. We are attracted to strong contrast and creating a story around it like we did in our latest collection for fall. For our fall collection, we took our muse Frida Kahlo into a new futuristic space world. We combined her strong character, art, and the Mexican folklore culture that she represents, and put through a darker, minimalistic and clean perspective. We liked the tension between something very busy and over the top, and the clean shape.


What was your greatest challenge when first launching your collection?

The biggest challenge was to figure out exactly what we want to do and where to do it. We tried to figure out what will be the best place for us to be noticeable. It was very hard to take over and manage a workload of 10 people when we are only two. We did not realize that the creative part is easier than actually producing the collection. When you are a small and young fashion house there are not many doors that open for you, but we were very lucky because the few doors that did open for us were the right ones. 


What advice would you give an aspiring fashion designer trying to launch his or her own collection?

1. Believe in yourself.

2. Don’t be afraid.

3. Be patient!


What is your design philosophy?

Hagit: I am very detailed oriented and fascinated by creating unique embellishments, largely inspired by geometric figures and ethnic culture. I draw inspiration from 1920s to 1950s tailored garments that I find both sophisticated and ageless. By taking all of the above and giving it a “street” twist, I create my personal aesthetic.

Omer: I am always fascinated by juxtapositions of the traditional or classic with the edgy and unexpected, for example taking a stiff or rigid material and making it look soft, or using a soft fabric, normally used for draping, and making it seem constructed. While working, I always have in mind a very feminine silhouette, but combining elements from the more masculine world of tailoring.


How does the design process begin for you? Do you start with a theme, a silhouette, a color palette, a recently discovered can’t-live-without fabric, or something else?

We usually start with brainstorming ideas and in this stage, we like to use our imagination and combine different worlds that would not work together in real life. Then we continue with research — first separately, each one of us collects photos, materials, fabrics, silhouettes, etc. and than we mix it together and create something new that combines our collective research. We have a great creative dynamic working with each other since we have similar aesthetics, but we see things in different ways, and incorporate each other’s points of view when we design. We

bring both our worlds to the table and inspire each other. For example, one of us can start working on a sketch or an idea for embellishment, and then the other one will get inspired by that and give it a new twist, which is something that only someone who is different from you but understands you perfectly can do. Also working opposite someone gives you the opportunity to be in constant dialogue and get an outside perspective on what you do, which we believe leads to more creative results than working by yourself. 


Who has had a major influence on you as a fashion designer?

Hagit: Omer Poizner

Omer: Hagit Kassif


What role does social media play in the promotion of your brand and in staying close to your customer base?

We recently launched our Facebook page, which is a great way to receive feedback from our customers, as it helps us understand what they like and allows us to stay in contact directly with them. We find it very important and helpful since we are at the beginning of creating our fashion line. Our official website is also launching soon, and it is important for us to have a continuous online presence.


How did you meet?

We met while studying fashion design at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Israel. We were in the same class and initially we did not take to one another, but ended up as best friends and business partners. We shared a dream that we wanted to fulfill together: to move to New York and start our own label.


Do you have a current muse?

Frida Kahlo, but in her 2013 version.


What are your goals for your label?

We just started Roomeur, and like any young brand, we hope to grow and expand in order to reach our target audience. We are planning to stay true to our vision and not compromise our ideas and the places we come from, and hopefully it will resonate with other people. Ultimately, our goal is to express and develop our aesthetic vision in every way we will be able to, from producing a big fashion show that will put forward the Roomeur aesthetic, through collaborations with other areas of art designs, and of course through our collections. There is still much to do!


Do you develop all of your textiles in-house?

Yes, we develop all the prints and embroideries we use.


What was the response like for your pre-fall 2013 debut collection?

Pre-fall 2013 was the first time Roomeur was presented to the world, and the response was very positive! We were happy and excited to get so many supportive reviews and articles on, in The New York Times, Elle, Marie Claire, L’Officiel and others.


What is the meaning behind the name of your label?

The story behind the name is a play on words. It is a combination of the word roommate, which symbolizes partnership and collaboration, and the word rumor, which symbolizes our dream of creating an amazing brand who’s existence will spread like a rumor — as word-of- mouth, and mysterious. It is also a word that rolls nicely on your tongue when you say it – Roomeur!


Name three things you cannot live without.

iMessages, Skype, and E-mail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Agent Provocateur Christmas

featured article

A Glance at MOAM's Stars

Need more of your favorite stars?

-- Select a MOAM Star --