The CeliaB girl is an energetic, cosmopolitan woman who loves colour and isn’t afraid to stand out in a crowd, according to designer, Celia Bernardo. Full of personality, Celia embodies her brand, mixing fun, quirky shapes with a collection of intricate, bold, colourful prints. Her aesthetic derives from what she refers to as; a patchwork of different inspirations, aesthetics, cultures, colors and textures, with a philosophy centred around exploration, experimentation and wanderlust.
Looking through her current collection — Le Frick C’est Chic and her upcoming — Siamese Dreaming, it is clear that this designer who her plied her trade at Zara has a gift for colour, and an eye for pattern and detail. Part of Celia’s eclectic patchwork has its roots in her Spanish heritage with its stunning landscapes, rich artistic culture and multi-cultural history; she also draws on an immediate connection between art and nature:
“Nature is the greatest artist in this universe. Everything comes from there [and] we don’t need artificial things to feel close to real beauty. I also feel very inspired every time I discover artists that touch my soul…”
The artists she speaks of; French sculptor and painter Niki de Saint Phalle whom she cites as a revelation; Frida Kalho — a genius, and Hundertwasser whom she discovered 15-years ago: “his work blew my mind”. It was not just Hundertwasser’s architecture that captured Celia’s imagination, but his use of color and composition, along with his approach to creativity, life, art and ecology. “He was a total artist,” she says.
Celia has always been creative and readily recalls a love of dressing up in crazy costumes in her youth, but rather than pursuing fashion, a love of the arts was at the forefront of her mind. Eventually studying advertising in Madrid, she later came to the realization that she needed creative fulfillment. Designing jewellery and accessories followed, and soon after, fashion. For the following ten years she gained invaluable insight into fashion production and distribution through designing for Zara and Pepe Jeans; learning the importance of working quickly and efficiently in a market that strives to meet the demands of the fashion conscious masses, the world over.
These days she loves being her own boss, and at its core, designing what feels most intuitive. Growing her brand and the business is on her list of priorities, and of late, she has employed a cozy team of four, meaning that she no longer works solo. But given that CeliaB has only been running for the past three years, things have been busy. She has been collaborating on a project with Lee Jeans due to launch early 2015, and given her aesthetic it is not surprising that she has attracted one of the largest consumer markets in the world — China’s fashion savvy elite. In particular, her clients in the dynamic city of Shanghai look to invest in exclusivity and have an understanding of luxury, along with an appreciation of the unique sense of identity that her brand evokes. Celia is a fan of China and it’s fast-paced lifestyle where changes seem to happen virtually overnight, “… it’s still very fresh and there are a lot of things to be done, but that is why I love it there.”
Look out for CeliaB’s SS15 collection and her collaboration with Lee Jeans due to launch soon.
All images courtesy of Celia Bernardo.