With their ultra trendy urban designs for kids, mixed with an un-yielding desire to treat children as real people, the concept is as important as the product for new kids fashion brand, Czesiociuch, from Warsaw’s creative sector.
Czesiociuch are Polish musician, Czeslaw Mozil ,and stylist and designer, Dorota Zielinska. And Czesiociuch is all about treating children as little people – not as stereotypes.
The brand eschews pink versus blue and Barbie versus Transformers, and rebels against dichotomies like boys do not cry or girls are empty. So an item of Czesiociuch clothing will never be pink or grenade. The graphics will never show cartoon characters or dolls, but will always be beautiful, aesthetic and valuable.
Instead the label is chock full of pieces of children’s clothing that can be worn by both brothers and sisters. Catch the lattice printed harem pants in graphic black and grey, or the t-shirts with original prints by graphic artists.
You don’t have to be daring to wear Czesiociuch of course. As with all fashion, introducing a child to interesting, different design gives them a taste for it and a confidence to experiment with what they wear. Our nearly three year old fluxling #1 has been parading around in his harem pants and loves them with their super comfy heavy jersey and elasicated waistband.
But we’re missing something – and this is an element that is even more unusual for a kids brand. Czesiociuch has a social agenda. In Poland, difficult subjects like homosexuality, homophobia and even divorce are not discussed, or are discussed with an aggressive tone. To address this with design can be difficult especially in the kids market. Czesiociuch solved the problem by starting with a unisex collection. The next step was to work with talented young Polish graphic designers – Sonia Hensler, Mateusz Paja, Kropki Kreski and Katarzyna Bogucka to create their special prints. The new HumanKidz Collection contains special series of T-shirts with graphics by talented illustrator, Dots and Dashes (Kropki Kreski). It builds a subtle manifesto dealing with difficult topics: bullying, separations of parents, sexuality. This is not in your face, but subtley dealt with and presented as a matter of choice within the collection. .
A kid’s brand demolishing the rank and file? A philosophy of life for children? Bring it on we say, so we got on the email and whizzed the Czesiociuch team some questions to hear what they have to say for themselves.
FLUXLINGS: Where are you based?
CZESIOCIUCH: We are based in Warsaw, Poland. We have an office which is connected to our showroom in the city. Our office and showroom are located in the attic of an old, pre-war building. It’s a big, open space with a unique atmosphere where employees and customers feel very good.
FLUXLINGS: What adult fashion do you most like? Are there any interesting Polish designers we should know about?
CZESIOCIUCH: It’s a difficult question. We prefer Maison Martin Margiela, Ricky Owens and Ann Demeulemeester. From Poland we are big fans of Gosia Baczyńska and Ania Kuczyńska – they deserve to be known not only in Poland.
FLUXLINGS: Your kids range is just amazing! We are very excited about it at fluxlings.com. It has a very creative, rebellious, but tribal feel to it. Do you find kids respond to that?
CZESIOCIUCH: We know a lot of such kids. They have their own opinions and strong feeling about being a full-fledged man (only young).
FLUXLINGS: If Czesiociuch was a film or a book for kids, which one would it be?
CZESIOCIUCH: We think it would be the mix of Pippi Langstrumpf (Pippi Longstocking) and Alice in Wonderland.
FLUXLINGS: You are coming from different creative genres – music, styling and design. Do all those come together in Czesiociuch?
CZESIOCIUCH: This is the power of Czesiociuch! Looking from the different points of view, working out a compromise, drawing from the world of fashion and musical sensitivity.
FLUXLINGS: Your philosophy on kids clothing is very strong. Can you tell us a little about your ideas about the way parents dress their kids and how that can be limiting?
CZESIOCIUCH: We truly believe that children know themselves what is good for them. Most of the parents have stereotypical thinking (pink/blue, Barbie/Spiderman etc.). Fortunately, this is changing, adults begin to listen to their children and to respect the opinion of young people.
FLUXLINGS: It’s a unique approach, your philosophy of addressing children as individuals and small people in their own right. And I am interested in this idea of not avoiding difficult subjects. How do you address that with fashion?
CZESIOCIUCH: In next collection we will have t-shirts with beautiful graphics made by Dots&Dashes. They will tell stories about bullying, divorces etc. In our Polish webstore we sell books dealing with being different and the problems of young people.
FLUXLINGS: The way the collection is approached feels more like a conceptual adult collection with the collaborations with graphic artists, and social themes. It seems like you are working in a really vibrant group of people/scene. Can you tell us about that a little?
CZESIOCIUCH: Each of us has a different personality and different interests and abilities. We are a team that perfectly completes. We invent, create and coordinate our realisations. ESveryone has a role to a certain stage of creating the collection.
FLUXLINGS: Is the label available in any boutiques or is it only online at the moment?
CZESIOCIUCH: As we said, the main selling is through our webstores but we are avalaible in shops in Poland (Warsaw, Cracov), Belgium (Antwerpia) and South Korea (Busan).
For more on Czesiociuch and to buy the AW13 collection see www.czesiociuch.com