“Wearing my clothes is not complicated, life has enough insecurities to create another”

Celia Bernardos, la ovetense detrás de la marca CeliaB.

The Asturian Celia Bernardos represents vitamin fashion in a world inclined towards uniformity. Her unique style makes her designs immediately recognizable for their colorful and sophisticated aesthetics, which are successful in Shanghai, London, New York, Florida, Dubai and Australia with more than 200 points of sale.

Her creations appear on the covers of fashion magazines, television shows or successful Netflix series worn by celebrities such as Olivia Palermo, Eugenia Silva and Zooey Deschanel.

From Magicians We spoke with her about her designs and the world of fashion in general.

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When did you decide that you wanted to dedicate yourself to fashion?

My first steps in fashion were when I was only twenty-three years old, making accessories and selling them with a friend in Ibiza, where we sold in markets and beaches.

I still didn’t have the knowledge to create a brand, but I liked what we did and by chance and after showing photos of friends with my earrings, I managed to start working at Pepe Jeans.

Despite not having training in fashion, the ability to handle graphic design programs and the potential they saw with my designs allowed me to earn a place in their design department by creating the cards, which is what the designs that are made are called. on the computer of the 2D mannequins, with the explanations that are sent to the factory so that they can create the patterns and sizes.

In this way, my training in fashion began, which later continued at Arteixo within the Zara accessories department (bags, shoes, belts…). It took three years having contact with suppliers, traveling and discovering that what I really like is doing something different from the circuit of the fast fashion.

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And there you decided…

Although I had the desire, I still didn’t have the money to start on my own… My resume continued to grow in Asia: in 2010 I started working in Shanghai in a company that started to create the Chinese Zara aimed at the domestic market of that country , carrying all the part of sourcy (search for materials, visit factories, travel to fairs…).

After a year and a half working in Shanghai, my desire to leave fast fashion They were even bigger, so was my knowledge and I had saved enough to get started.

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CeliaB fills the closet with good energy with its SS24 collection.

Why are you starting Celia B from Shanghai?

Yes, Celia B is the first Spanish brand to show at Shanghai Fashion Week. I started creating the first samples with street tailors and fabrics that I had been saving from my travels through Thailand, Hong Kong, India…

He sold them at markets and fairs, at a time when designers were emerging in the Chinese market. It wasn’t easy, because China has its difficulties, but it was a time when Shanghai was the land of opportunity.

Seeing that it was working, I started traveling with Celia B to international fairs. The first fair I went to was Tokyo. I didn’t get a single client there, because she didn’t speak Japanese. However, then I moved to Paris and there, I did manage to sell in Japanese stores. This is how clients from the Middle East (Dubai, Saudi Arabia…) began to arrive. And because we were present in China, we also had stores that bought from us for Beijing, Chengdu or Shanghai.

We started to know you in Spain when you have 200 points of sale in the United States.

Yes, thanks to the Moda Operandi platform, I expanded throughout America, while I was not yet known in Spain. And it was the pandemic that brought me back to my native Asturias, where confinement taught me that it really doesn’t matter where I have the showroom, whether in New York or Pravia.

Nowadays, what you need is to communicate properly with people around the world, and that is something that I am good at because of my career in Advertising and Public Relations.

So, from Oviedo and confined, the online store began to take off and I began to reap the fruits of the work of so many years. The Netflix series Sex Education It helped a lot to get a name for me in the media. As a result of one of the protagonists releasing one of our models, the press began to be curious about the brand and now Spain is an important market for us in the online store.

Ruby Matthews, played by actress Mimi Keene in the series ‘Sex Education’

What actresses and celebrityHave your universe shined?

The truth is that we are very grateful because we do not have representation agents and it is all through ‘word of mouth’ or contacting us directly. At an international level, our designs have been worn by celebrities like Olivia Palermo, Pixie Lott, Zooey Deschanel or Eva Mendes. And in Spain, by Eugenia Silva, Paula Echevarria, Patricia Conde, Jenni Hermoso or Eugenia Martinez de Irujo.

Paula Echevarría wearing a piece by CeliaB.

Is it difficult to succeed among a minimalist trend of whites, blacks and plains?

No one is immune to a world inclined towards uniformity, with black as a symbol of elegance, but I am colorful and sophisticated. Nature has colors, because it is a way to beautify. I try to do things that make me feel good and look pretty when I wear them. My style is immediately recognized by a colorful and sophisticated aesthetic, reminiscent of the 70s, presenting a lot of mixing, but with harmony at the same time.

Colors make us look beautiful and flattering is my main goal. For me, it is very important that the patterns enhance the figure, marking what needs to be marked and hiding what needs to be hidden.

Wearing my clothes is not complicated because they fit well: life has enough insecurities for clothes to be another one. We have to see ourselves favored and comfortable with it. My style is cheerful, colorful (I love vintage clothing), inspired by craftsmanship and travel: having lived in many different countries is reflected in the textiles and designs. A lot of people say: ‘You can tell you’ve lived in Southeast Asia because this is very Thai; or this print is super Mexican…’ There is everything, because there are also ruffles and there is crochet…

Crochet sets by Celia B.

What does it mean that you have a division dedicated only to crochet?

Although it seems like crochet comes from childhood, it really comes from a course I took with an artist in China. I was there all day making cards with the computer and doing something with my hands gave me back the artisanal part that I started with when creating my own earrings. I went crazy and got addicted to needleI really missed doing something with my hands: its possibilities are endless because mixing wool is the best.

You are a woman very committed to feminism.

I am a convinced feminist. She is a very important part of my life and on the team we are all women. But I don’t want to use it as a brand marketing claim. MMany companies use the feminist or environmentalist message to sell more and that is not my case. I am a feminist and if book day comes, I will recommend the ones I am reading or have read that are surely feminist.

What is your commitment to sustainability?

The moment you are manufacturing something, you are no longer sustainable, because Anything that is manufactured has an environmental impact. Many brands sell empty messages. The need to make the consumer feel good by giving them an organic cotton t-shirt for five euros is an ‘eco-stance’. We don’t live in a bubble and we know what’s going on. I think the way is to produce less and less and not make large runs to achieve cheap costs and ridiculous prices.

Personally, I think that I contribute to ensuring that there is no waste in the world of fashion by creating garments that are not outdated and that are durable. If you buy a dress of mine from six years ago, it is still totally current and made of good quality. We also use natural materials (organic cotton, viscose) and reduce synthetic fibers as much as possible. In addition, our productions are small, 50-100 dresses per run, depending on the models.

Colorful and cheerful, this is CeliaB’s clothes.

Do you also do decoration?

We have launched the home line that includes tablecloths, napkins, plates and glasses. I love the design in general and we couldn’t miss the decoration. Fashion is one skin, and home is the second skin.

What news are you working on?

We just launched a men’s line and next month we are going to release a very special collaboration that I am very excited about, but I can’t say anything yet. She is an artist that I admire and very recognized in the world of fashion.

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