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A One Girl Revolution

“People won’t let the artists be pioneers, but essentially we always are.”

Yana, Fifi & Romeo’s founder and designer, began her creative journey in a place that was hardly conducive to individual thought: Communist Russia. Yana confounded her parents with her efforts to stylize her school uniform. “You weren’t supposed to call attention to yourself,” Yana recalls. The family moved to the U.S. when she was thirteen and Yana grew up in Columbus, Ohio learning English from soap operas and old Hollywood films.

She headed west for college and graduated with a degree in business finance from the University of Southern California in 1989. Yana was considering law school before a friend asked her to pitch in with costuming on a low- budget film 9 ½ Ninjas. She knew instantly she had found her calling. Yana became a costume designer and quickly became known for her organizational skills and sharp fashion sense, dressing stars like Sting and Robert Downey, Jr. and making costumes for such films as Stargate, Barb Wire, Blade and The Mod Squad.

In 1999 she was asked to design for the Fox television hit Ally McBeal. In just a few episodes, Yana took the show to fashion nirvana with the trendsetting results attracting accolades from fashionistas around the world.

In 2001 Yana was nominated for Designer of the Year by the Costume Designer’s Guild, and feted by New York Women in Film and Television with a retrospective applauding her daring work.

In 1998 Yana founded Fifi & Romeo after making the accidental discovery of an unfilled niche in the pet products market. Wanting to keep her Chihuahua, Yoda, warm, she fashioned a sweater for him out of leftover cashmere, and got so much attention for it that Yana began selling them out of her home. The company grew from there, with Yana opening the first Fifi & Romeo boutique in L.A. in 2000 and garnering stories in magazines such as People, InStyle and WWD. She also designed the doggie clothes for the popular Chihuahua character “Bruiser” in the Legally Blonde films.

Today Yana has a huge celebrity clientele and can count Prince Charles, Elton John, Oprah Winfrey, Anne Heche and Sarah Michelle Gellar among her fans. Her ultimate vision: to develop Fifi & Romeo into an international couture house of products for pets and people that promote a world of “Funky Elegance” (think Bob Marley meets Audrey Hepburn) with fresh, colorful designs that “cuddle your life”. Her inspiration: Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith and Coco Chanel. “I look to the designers of our time who left their mark on our culture, who showed us a new way of life,” says Yana. “Today no one has individual style. I want to bring those days back.”

In 2020 Yana continues to influence Hollywood and the world, working on numerous Netflix shows, movies & more…

Google Yana Syrkin

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