Founded in 2013, Celia Munoz started her childrenswear business with an aim to promote and support Spanish design and craftsmanship as well as popularising clothes she grew up with and wore endlessly as a child. Celia was brought up in Spain and felt it was integral to the story of the brand that is was all “Proudly made in Spain” from the choice of cloth to the design and finish of every piece. Every garment's origin can be traced back to a Spanish family run business and the skills and methods used are centuries old.
"Spain has faced some difficult economic struggles in recent times and because of this I felt very strongly, that, as a proud Spaniard and designer I represent the skills and craftsmanship that Spain really excels at. The love and attention to detail that goes into producing Spanish clothing makes them special. We take time to produce our clothes and that is something customers the world over really value."
For Celia the process of designing a collection starts with the fabric and print. This is then translated into a pattern and a toile is made and tried on her own children to test the practicality and fit before it is launched in the next season's collection. "I love the fact that my customers know all of the clothes that we sell in our shop have been tried on my five children. Luckily they are all of different shapes and heights which is extremely practical when it comes to sizing and fitting the collection."
Smocking is a traditional technique used to gather fabric so that it can stretch. Before elastic, smocking was commonly used for cuffs, bodices and necklines in garments where buttons were undesirable. Smocking is a sewing technique that has been practised since the Middle Ages and although originally it was only worn by labourers, it is now a highly sought-after design feature and one of the reasons customers come to La Coqueta.
All of our smocks are handmade in Spain by small groups of women who have set up their own atelier and who have learnt their skills and technique from the generations of women before them. Many feel a sense of duty to pass their knowledge down to the next generation and ensure that their traditions and techniques aren't lost through the passing of time. In our factories it is not uncommon to see whole families of women sharing that same passion.
"I love the sense of responsibility that our smock makers have when it comes to practising the art they learnt from their mothers and grandmothers. We try very hard to convey that message to our customers, as our customer's appreciation of this is truly the best reward our atelier's can get. We always ensure that they hear our customer's direct feedback."
The beauty of a handmade smock is the fact that it is harmoniously irregular and imperfect. Our customers love the fact they can appreciate the love, care and attention to detail that has been applied to every stitch.
Celia grew up wearing smock dresses and they are still worn in Spain today, the reason this art form still exists is because it never goes out of fashion. Celia adds an imaginative, contemporary touch to her smock dresses and baby sets, by applying unexpected hints of bold colour, contrast stitching and unique designs. "Smock dresses stir up nostalgic memories, going back to my childhood in Southern Spain, sitting on the lap of my grandfather and saying hello to passers-by on a Sunday morning when everybody went off to church. There is a little window of opportunity to wear a beautiful handmade smock and this is why they feature so prominently in our collections, so that our customers can build the same memories that I have from my own childhood."