Designer Celina Dębowska of Kraków founded her cold-weather knit accessories shop Celapiu in 2005 and now runs it with her sister Maja. Infusing urban deconstruction with playful kitsch and surreal avant-garde, Celapiu enjoys international success due to its singular cheeky-yet-polished aesthetic.
Accessories brand created by Celina Dębowska and Maja Dębowska.
A maker and self-starter from a young age, Dębowska studied film in university but found herself veering toward a more expressive path shortly after graduation. She spent a year apprenticing in several fashion studios in London, UK before setting up shop in 2007. With a particular focus on head- and neckwear, Celapiu’s shop offers hats, scarves, shrugs and cowls, and now mini-versions of their highly popular Foxes line, tailored for kids (see here).
Dębowska’s design process is intuitive, drawn from an engagement with material and process. 'I make things I would love wearing myself,' she says when asked to name sources of inspiration.
I also get inspired by the craft itself, whether I use crochet or knitting needles. I make a lot of samples and sometimes this particular stitch or colour combination in certain yarn looks so amazing it evolves into a new design.
She sees every collection as an opportunity to develop her skills as a designer, furthering her vision and craft with each new product.
The name of the shop reflects the same introspectiveness at that of Dębowska’s designs. For the young designer, establishing her own label required a tremendous leap of faith. Combining her own first name with 'piu' (which means 'more' in Italian), Dębowska appointed her shop with a name that reflects her sense of self-reliance, affirming her faith in herself as an entrepreneur.
A commitment to high quality, locally-sourced material and craftsmanship comprises the duo’s 'conscious design' philosophy. Not only do the sisters labour over design and production, they also make a keen effort to source material from as close to home as possible. They realize Celapiu with local craftsmen, such as felt artist Irena Biskup of Bielsko-Biała, with whom they collaborate for their Felt Foxes collection (see here).
Celapiu’s Fall 2013 collection will soon arrive online. Bold yet slightly nostalgic, the collection is guided by the theme of a city girl taking on the guise of a medieval knight, her “armours” made of soft, comfortable, chunky knits detailed in mesh (see here).
Celapiu’s products are available online via the label's Etsy shop and in selected boutiques in Poland, Europe, USA, Canada and Australia.
Author: Julie Henneberg, October 2013