I met Emanuela, founder and designer of C’era Una Volta, a year ago. I was having breakfast at one of my favorite bakeries in Shanghai, and she was sitting in the table next to me, talking to her daughter in a very cute Italian with French accent (Emanuela is married to Benjamin, from Paris ;-)). I think no longer than two minutes later we were talking about our lives in Shanghai, our families, our jobs in the fashion industry, and it was love at first sight. Emanuela is since then one of my best friend in Shanghai (one of those you exchange your wardrobe with), my personal styling consultant and the sweetest auntie to my little Olivia.
When I had the idea of a Festive shooting (we will be away from family this coming Christmas, so I thought it was nice to send them some merry pictures of us), I couldn’t see Olivia dressed in any other brand, as C’era Una Volta represents so much our personal style and values.
Emanuela designs each piece with all the love of a passionate mother for her two young daughters, just like her mother and grandmother, from Sardinia, loved her and her two sisters. From Sardinia, Emanuela embarked on a journey of many cosmopolitan cities of the world. She started from Florence, where she studied Fashion Design at Polimoda. Then she moved to London, Kyoto and Paris where she worked in the luxury industry for prestigious brands like Givenchy, Fendi and Dior. Each city enriches her life in a unique way and they all come together into a rich tapestry of design and retail experience. She is now been based in Shanghai for several years.
She started designing clothes for her daughters, Emilie and Giulia and from there accommodating all the requests of friends and friends of friends. The designs became more and more until they became… C’era Una Volta.
C’era Una Volta simply means “Once upon a time” in Italian. It’s a simple phrase that is often listened by children when parents read them storybooks. Which is also why, Emanuela thought it would be beautiful for Emilie, her eldest daughter, to write the logo with her handwriting. Emanuela hopes that every piece of C’era Una Volta that her clients have in their hands will be treasured as a keepsake for their children and the generations to follow. Emanuela still keeps the clothes that her grandmother and mother made for her and her 2 sisters till today. As she brings out the clothes from time to time, she is reminded of the unmistakable quality, delicate-ness and attention to details that they put into them.
Each C’era Una Volta piece is handmade currently in a limited batch in China, under keen personal supervision of Emanuela herself. She is sharing a showroom with Elodie, founder of Mon p’tit boudoir (stay tuned to know more about this brand too).
Happy Festive Season xxx Paola
– Festive Shooting was made in collaboration with Barefootportraits. If you are lucky enough to live in Shanghai they are offering 25% discount to their Winter Wonderland setting to the first 5 The Pink Dumpling followers scanning their QR Code (barefootSH) saying “The Pink Dumpling”
– Olivia Outfits by C’era Una Volta/ Beddings, Pillows by Mon p’tit boudoir