A Communication major takes her passion for fashion to the next level in her native Romania as a designer and entrepreneur

portrait of Ioana-Taisia Turescu posing on a balcony in Romania
Ioana is pictured wearing the “Cassiopeia” top in gold from her fall 2020 collection, Yoyo’s Closet. Featuring soft flowy silhouettes in rich jewel tones, she wanted to create designs with a high-end look and a more affordable price point.

After five canceled flights and a 4,700-mile journey, Ioana-Taisia Turcescu ’23 finally made it home to her native Romania in July 2020, having completed her first year at Villanova’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences—only to begin the two-week quarantine that is standard with international travel during a pandemic.

Ever industrious, Ioana (better known as “Yoyo” by friends and family) didn’t let any of these obstacles hamper her drive. While she was quarantining with her father and his wife, Oana Nutu, an established fashion designer in Bucharest, inspiration struck. “I have always been passionate about fashion,” Ioana says. “I just wasn’t quite sure what form it would take.”

She admired the intricate corset tops of her stepmother’s luxury dresses and wondered whether they could stand alone as their own pieces. She put pencil to paper and sketched out five potential corset designs that she pitched to her stepmother the next day, and so their collaboration began. On Aug. 27, 2020, the “Yoyo by Oana Nutu” collection launched with those five pieces. 

“When the samples arrived and I tried them on, it was such an emotional moment because my vision came to life, quite literally,” Ioana says.The successful line went on to sell internationally and inspired her to launch her own collection, Yoyo’s Closet, in October 2020, with the help of her friend Ramona Bizbac, a fashion student in Bucharest. Ramona did the sewing, and Ioana handled the rest—everything from fabric selection and budgeting to marketing and packaging. 

“You never know where an idea might take you,” Ioana says. “Even if it's not a brand-new product, you may have a new perspective, a new way of thinking about it, a new purpose for it—just put it out there.”