Q&A: Genoveva Christoff on Her New, Dark Designs

Jenny Rogers

When Genoveva Christoff strode into the room, models in tow, the reaction was audible: a gasp, an "I've got to have it," a whispered "That's gorgeous."

The Columbus-based designer-who won her spot in the Finale Show thanks to a superb showing at the annual event's jury selection back in May-will show her line at Fashion Week Columbus for the fourth time this year, making her one of the show's most seasoned vets.

The 38-year-old, originally from Macedonia (she moved to the U.S. a decade ago), first showed her line in 2011. She's showcased her label-launched after she graduated in 2009 from the Columbus College of Art & Design-locally and in New York City, most notably at 2012's Diet Pepsi Style Studio Show, attended by style stars including Mary-Kate Olsen.

Known for dark, rich colors, bold silhouettes and a super-sexy vibe, Christoff says she'll go even "darker" for this year's show, and has aspirations for Columbus' fashion scene that go well beyond Fashion Week.

Why fashion? What was the allure?

My mom had a sewing machine at home when I was in middle school, and I started redesigning pieces from her old dresses; I just always really appreciated making designs. There wasn't an opportunity (to study fashion) when I was in school. So, when I moved here at the end of 2004, I decided to follow my passion, and I went to CCAD.

Ok. What are your thoughts on fashion in Columbus?

I think Columbus' fashion scene is growing and changing … and I think it's going to get better.

Who's your muse?

I like the woman who is very fashion-conscious-someone who really appreciates quality and design, someone who's confident and someone who's socially active, because my designs are for special occasions.

What can we expect from your collection?

I'll be showing a different collection I've never shown before. It will be darker. I'm using leather and floral brocade and silk in black and navy and emerald-and some shimmer fabric. The silhouettes are kind of 1950s, but I'm incorporating a laser cut that's kind of Art Deco. My whole collection is sophisticated-with an edge.

What's next?

For now, I'll stay here in Columbus. With social media, you kind of become global. From here I can make the line grow.