Interview with Celsus

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Interview with Celsus

Cork is much more than a simple stopper

Dressing a board was the challenge given the fashion designer Celsus (Celso Assunção). Cork naturally emerged as the solution, because it is an ecological product and Portuguese. But the liking for material was not limited to that. Other items by the designer would soon be presented to the fashion world.

How was the idea to make a cork board born? Can you explain the project in detail?
Celsus – The challenge was laid down by Francisco Gonçalves, a shaper of White Banana, a brand producing surf boards, in the design meaning of “dressing” boards. This project results in a collection of boards with fabric inside that will produce interesting aesthetic results due to the different patterns we are using.
The contact with Amorim Cork Composites made the use of cork possible, in the same way that fabric is placed, divulging the CORECORK product (a cork sheet) and thus enabling this collection to be produced. The main objective is to promote national products through cork, design and fashion.

Why did you decide to use cork in this project?
Because I wanted to create a typically national product and the aim of this association was the promotion of Portuguese products. For those who don’t know, Portugal is the world’s largest cork producer and it is therefore part of our identity.
Cork, in addition to offering a new look to the product, gives the board greater resistance and contributes to the absorption of the vibration caused by waves when surfing.

What characteristics of the material differentiate it from other alternative products?
We must increasingly be concerned with the environment in the day-to-day activities of our work. I had this in mind when I began working in the fashion industry. I have already produced various ecofashion collections and work across Europe.
This is a surf board made of environmentally friendly materials and cork fitted that bill.
It should be noted that all the ecological material from which the surf board is made is more expensive than normal, but we have “an obligation” to care for our ecosystem and be concerned with the environment in our work. If we pass this on and if we have this awareness, we can contribute to a better world.

Where can we find this surfboard for sale and what is the price?
The board is for sale at, by order, for the price of EUR 650 (VAT included),
and also, from May, at some surf camps (I am still negotiating these contracts).

Is there any well-known surfer who has used the board? Would McNamara be a possibility?
No well-known surfer has used it, perhaps because it is not a competition board.
McNamara would of course be an ambition, due to the media attention, but I don’t think he’s interested in this board. Only if due to curiosity in the product and because of the ecological issue. It’s a board that does not provide added value to the activity he practices. He uses stable, super-resistant and fast boards. This is a fun board. He would only use it to “have fun”.

What are you doing to publicise the board? Is it exhibited at the speciality trade fairs? At any other fairs?
The board is a product of success due to its interesting design and the materials used, the media embraced this project and publicised it very well. The web, via social networks, is clearly an excellent motor, and yes, some sports, design innovation or tourism fairs.

As a fashion designer, have you used cork in other items?
Yes, I am using it now.

Where and why?
I can’t say. But I will soon present my work. I can only say that I keep the identity of the product as typically national and the objective is the promotion of Portuguese products, design and fashion.

Do you have any projects with cork for the future?
I think we are witnessing rapid growth at all levels regarding the use of cork in design and technology. In the shipbuilding industry, in science, in sport, in lifestyle, fashion, we find news on the use of cork almost on a daily basis. It’s very good that we are able to take advantage of its aesthetics by use, but enjoy above all the benefits of its technical characteristics such as its elastic memory, thermal, acoustic and anti-vibration insulation, unlimited durability without loss of its features and the fact that it is fully recyclable.

How would you define cork in a few words?
Cork is much more than a simple stopper. Discover it!


CELSUS (the artistic name of Celso Assunção) graduated in Design from Aveiro University in 2003. His portfolio comprises global learning about what is the art of creating amazing and minimal things.

From the search for and development of the concept, the origin of the first sketches, the graphics, and then the artwork and printing, all this has contributed to the training and how the CELSUS brand has been shaped and communicates. Thinking about the materials, imagining in 3D, prototyping and then the final finish is considered by the designer as “a son, something that comes from inside of us, is our creation. It is the product that we imagine and create and we want people to enjoy it.” This is the posture that the 35-year old fashion designer from Aveiro seeks to maintain in his career in the industrial area and continues to create for his brand.

Calling himself a creator of attitudes, he states that each of the items he produces is at the level of self-confidence of those using them. The products are exclusive and very limited, some are unique, and they are made with “dedication and love”.

A man of the arts, he reflects his work on the catwalk. CELSUS works in different artistic areas, such as music, art, design, theatre, cinema, photography, among others. As a professional of the fashion world, it can be noted he always seeks to establishes a link between this basis and the ultimate objective, the seasonal presentation on the catwalk.


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