Our Liberty Fabrics Makers: Chicachicaboom
Celebrating the global community of Liberty Fabrics creativesRead more
The #LibertyCraftClub community is truly one-of-a-kind – a worldwide network of Liberty print lovers, combining their talent and skill with a unique sense of imagination and humour. Here at Liberty HQ, we always love to see what you’ve been making. In this instalment of the Liberty Fabrics Makers series, we chat to Sheila Emilia da Silva – the founder and designer of Chicachicaboom, who first created her Liberty print collars to spark some joy during lockdown.
When did you set up your brand?
Chicachicaboom was born in June 2020 during the first lockdown. It started as a hobby making facemasks and detachable collars for fun for my family and friends. After sending some pieces to family in Brazil and to friends isolating in other countries to cheer them up, they loved them so much that it pushed me to open an Etsy shop selling Liberty detachable collars and face masks.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born and raised on an island in southern Brazil named Florianópolis, where I studied Fashion Design at the University of Santa Catarina, and I came to London during my gap year with friends. This was in the late ‘90s – I immediately fell in love with London, and had always admired and enjoyed its rich history of fashion, style and music.
I decided to broaden my studies here to learn how garments were made, and how to achieve the perfect fit. I studied Pattern Cutting at London College of Fashion and soon became a pattern cutter and garment technologist for many years, right here in London.
Where does the name of your brand come from?
The name comes from Carmen Miranda’s famous song 'Chica Chica Boom Chic', from the 1941 movie That Night in Rio. I wanted a name that translated the joy and playfulness in simple things, like the collars I create. I felt we needed that more than ever given all the issues surrounding lockdown and the pandemic.
Carmen Miranda has always been a muse and an inspiration in my creative process. Her amazing colourful costumes, the iconic fruit headpieces, the statement jewels – there is so much fun and joy in anything she did!
Do you work solo, or do you have a team?
I work solo, but I have a local seamstress who helps me when I can’t cope with all my orders. Due the pandemic I preferred to keep small, plus it has been a great opportunity for small brands like mine – as customers’ behaviour is changing, and they are avoiding fast fashion whenever they can.
Where do you work from?
My family and I moved from North London to the Hertfordshire/Bedfordshire border two years ago. Our house is an 18th century lodge facing an expansive park, so I am lucky to have enough space and peacefulness to work and produce from home.
I have always been a fan of Liberty Fabrics and have been collecting them for many years, especially Tana Lawn™ – I have my own personal stash!
What do you like about working with Liberty Fabrics?
I love the quality of Tana, as it is so soft but extremely durable, the intensity of the colours, the dynamics and the prints. Liberty Fabrics are often associated with luxury, so I thought it would be great to use them to create an affordable luxury item for all, aiming to spread a bit of fun and joy in these unprecedented times. I believe that is why it has been a success – I receive lovely and positive feedback from happy customers all over the world, saying how much they love their collars and how jolly they are!
Do you have a favourite Liberty print?
Well, there are so many favourites... I love them all, from the most traditional William Morris’ Strawberry Thief, to dainty florals like Margaret Annie and Felicite. From the new Atlas of Dreams collection, I love Children of Liberty – a design created from a collection of drawings by the children of the Liberty staff. I thought it was such a great idea, and both of my daughters adore it too, so I just created a Bib Collar using that print.
What is next for Chicachicaboom?
I want to continue working with slow & sustainable fashion. Along with the collars, I have just started creating some repurposed garments that I have reworked from different textiles like blankets and patchwork pieces. I am home schooling and looking after my two daughters at the moment too – so I am waiting for some level of normality to return, so that I can progress with a wider product range!
Liberty Fabrics lovers – we always want to see your creations. Upload and tag us with #LibertyCraftClub so we can see what you’ve been making, and maybe we’ll feature your work in our next series instalment.