How two Hungarian sisters are using fashion to uplift Roma culture

Budapest, Hungary

A fashion studio in Hungary is challenging the centuries-old stereotypes faced by the country’s Roma minority and asserting a place at the table of high culture for the historically marginalized group.

Established by sisters Erika and Helena Varga in 2010, the Romani Design fashion studio has the declared mission of using fashion and applied arts to build the socio-cultural prestige of the Roma community and to reestablish Roma culture in a modern context.

“We were one of the first brands that actually gave the answer to how to rebuild [Roma] traditions in a contemporary, modern way,” said Erika Varga, co-founder of Romani Design.