Chypka: A Modern Approach to Traditional Croatian Lace-making
By combining simple yet functional everyday clothing with traditional handmade motifs of Croatian lace, two mates, Nikola Zorotović and Tadija Glasnović, have created something completely new – a unique line of street-wear, which has impressed the world over. They call it Chypka meaning lace in Croatian. In addition to giving the brand an international touch, the name they also sets-off a traditional tone.
The idea came to life when two mates, one a tattoo artist and street style enthusiast, and the other a clothing and fabric designer, started contemplating about a new business idea. They first took into account what they themselves thought was missing from the scene. Gathering with a small group of creative and proactive friends, they set forth to established Chypka- the first of its kind in Croatia, said co-owner Tadija Glasnović. “We started talking about the idea 3 years ago, but didn’t get to carry it out until 2016. At the beginning of last year we decided to take action, got organized, and informed about the textile industry and the history of lace in Croatia.”
With a goal of creating street-wear for modern and open-minded individuals, with a blend of Croatian culture they were set. Their initiatives and hard work paid off by 5 April, 2016, when the first collection was presented at one of the country’s most prestigious fashion events Cro-a-Porter. Not long after, Chypka was seen as a success story that was recognized by the fashion industry, media and customers. “It’s a good story, something that was well accepted by the public in Croatia, as it really is something authentic yet modern. Usually, people associate lace with the old, old items, old people, say a granny knitting lace but turn this into street-wear”.
The motives used on these modern street style pieces come from an old Croatian tradition – lace, more precisely from Pag and Lepoglava lace, which provide a strong message of unity and humbleness of a hard working and modest lifestyle. However, it’s not only through visually attractive products that they attract their customers, the Chypka website is more than just a selling point explains Tadija. “Through our site we are not only looking to sell our products but “A Story”. We educate them about lace, where it’s from, it’s a history about lace.”
Tadija highlights that although so alike, yet so different, the two of them complement each other so well and that is what our customers see. Although the initial aim was to sell on the Croatian market, in little of a year the company has reached much further markets. “We have buyers from Australia, England, and in the past few months we’re seeing more and more orders from Scandinavia. Many are from Germany, from all over the world actually. This surprised us because our goal was Croatia. But, through Instagram and Facebook, we reached more than we expected.”
There is room on the market for almost anything nowadays, there are great idea out there. But with a little bit of added value you can turn the old into new and a Croatian success story is born, said Chypka designer and co-owner Nikola. “There weren’t many good streetwear brands in Croatia that were good enough for people desire and wear. We have a specific segment of the market. We took our niche. It took a split second to decide ‘let’s do it, let’s make something that will set us apart from the others’”.
So far, the Chypka collections all have been consistent with the duo’s signature style – unobtrusive simplicity, as they like to describe it. It is no surprise that these collections are worn by many famous people, athletes and street style ambassadors. Tadija revealed that very soon Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović will be among them. “The president heard about our Chypka project. She liked it a lot because it directly promotes Croatian cultural heritage. So, she asked for one of her own. She asked if we’d create a garment that she could wear on her trips abroad, where she’ll be able to promote our work and us as a Croatian brand. We are delighted to do this, cause, in a way, she is a representative of the entire nation. For now we have a sketch of what we are making, but there are many details to finalize – certain protocols and standards that need to be followed. What we do know is that it will be embellished with the lace from Island Pag.”
The future for Nikola Zorotović, Tadija Glasnović and Chypka seems like a bright one. Upcoming is a new summer collection, which will bring a vibrant colour scheme. With the growing number of tourist arrivals, Tadija says they have recognized the need for better and more creative souvenirs, which is why they will be opening a store in Zagreb’s city centre. All this goes to show why Chypka, functional clothing with a special Croatian motif, is seen as the prefect tool as a modern approach to promoting and preserving the age old tradition of lace knitting in Croatia.
Vučedol Exhibition at the Zagreb Archaeological Museum
Vučedol, a copper-age world-class archeological site in Eastern Croatia from which many valuable and well-known copper-age artefacts were unearthed had the first items excavated exactly 120 years ago. You will find this important archaeological site some 5 kilometres downstream from Vukovar on the banks of the river Danube. The most famous ceramic artefact discovered at the site is the Vučedol Dove, a cult vessel in the shape of a bird, richly decorated and found in 1938 at the location of Gradac. This latest exhibition opened at the Zagreb Archaeological Museum marks the very start of excavations there that took place in 1897.
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