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Born in Bucharest, Romania, Yoana Baraschi was raised in a family of artists, rich in culture and style. 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. Following in his footsteps, Yoana studied drawing and sculpture from a very early age. She continued her artistic studies at the Fine Arts Institute of Bucharest where she received a BA in Sculpture. In 1978, 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 as an associate designer on collections such as Leonard, Cacharel, Mugler, and Faconable.

In 1983, Yoana moved to New York where she began to work as an illustrator for WWD and continued her work in textile design for various studios. She then shifted her focus in 1986 when she began working as a shoe designer for Mario Valentino and was introduced to the factories of Napoli and trade shows of Milan. During her many travels through Italy, Yoana was exposed to their fine tradition of craftsmanship, working with the best in the trade, which gave her a strong reference point for 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. Her work had her traveling extensively throughout Hong Kong, Paris, Romania, California and India.

Yoana began working for Angelique Imports in 1988, where she developed a passion for hand loomed textiles and vintage embroideries. Her years with the company brought her to India numerous times a year, so it naturally became a second home to her. It was in India that Yoana formed her strong sense of color and love for traditional artisanal techniques, which can be found heavily throughout her own collection. Yoana did not slow down until 1994, when she gave birth to Sophia, her first daughter. At this point, she was hired as the Design Director for Guess Knitwear.

The turning point of Yoana’s designer career came in 1999, when she began working as Creative Director for Betsey Johnson. She was heavily influenced by not only business success the company had achieved, but also Betsey’s own originality and vision. It was this time period that allowed Yoana the courage to live her own vision and believe that she could start her own collection. In 2002, armed with her first sample collection created in her bedroom, Yoana was able to find 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.


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