The riotous interior of Celia Bernardo’s small-but-quaint workshop tells you everything you need to know about the owner of the colorful self-titled fashion label, Celia B. The variety of patterns, mood boards splashed with swatches of fabrics and shelves lined with trinkets from global journeys are adorned with a cacophony of color – it’s joyful, uplifting and instantly recognizable as Bernardo’s signature brand, for which she has become known for in Shanghai. Her latest collection centres around a cute-as-pie Mama-Buba theme called Mini Celia B.
"I think my colorful and playful universe is perfect for kids! I always wanted to develop a mini CeliaB collection and these prints are perfect for it. I love to see my designs in tiny sizes, I think they look really cute! And I also love the idea of developing a lifestyle brand where all the family can wear my designs."
Originally from Asturias, Spain, Bernardo began her design career after working for super brand Zara as their accessories designer for three years. “Zara was a fantastic learning platform. After living here for two years, I had the idea to start my own label,” she recalls. Bernardo attributes her colorful design aesthetic to her parents’ love of travel.
“As a child, we traveled a lot, and my parents taught me to appreciate art, museums and architecture in different countries, which is reflected in my work.”
Vivid prints, fluid shapes and clashing colors with a bohemian-but modern appeal is what Celia B is fast becoming known for, and every piece is surprisingly versatile for the bold customer.
“My customer is definitely a confident woman. She’s creative, courageous and has a good sense of herself,” she says.
Bernardo believes there are few countries right now where artistic design and creative expression are flourishing at such a rapid rate.
“Shanghai is growing so quickly, and the fashion design scene is still very young but so responsive to new innovative design. It’s hard to get noticed here because of the population, but Shanghai is just so fresh and positive at the same time. It’s a great time for designers right now.”
Favorite restaurant: La Vite
Favorite coffee place: Aroom
Favorite shopping haunt: Shaoxing Lu, for browsing
Favorite place to relax: Yu Massage
Three things on my wish list:
New sunglasses – funky and bold, like Linda Farrow
New Marni shoes – anything from their latest collection
New Book – Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
Celia B | www.celiab.com
Photos courtesy of Barefoot Portraits I www.barefootportraits.org