Carol Christian Poell created artisanal garments and shoes, mainly working with leather. He humiliates it whenever he can a chance to do it.

By Cody Constantin, Victor Sajenko


Sequestered in an atelier in Milan’s Naviglio district, Austrian designer Carol Christian Poell continues his work as an extraordinary artist, emitting his messages of boldly unconventional and uncompromising design. Carol Christian Poell was born in Linz in 1966, the third-largest city of Austria. He was trained as a tailor in Vienna, preceding his academic work at the Domus Academy. From his home in Milan, Carol Christian Poell established the production and distribution company C.C.P. Srl with his partner Sergio Simone in 1996. There is a substance of quality and high energy, all the while completely silent…He doesn’t produce his collections seasonally and only shows to the public when he feels like it. Nonetheless, It is a specificity that only those who possess the subtlety to discern it, eagerly await the arrival of each a work of true craftsmanship and avant-garde . By wearable works of art, Poell’s designs are born, past the point of pleasure and satisfaction in each piece. His works include the use of unconventional materials as human hair, bodyplast, and blood-dyed leather. Additionally, each piece is tailored with outright precision, featuring supplementally unpredicted highlights that range from advanced metal chain stitching to perfectly mismatched zipper detailing. Master tailoring braced with untested use of textiles and a multi-sensory design aesthetic, place Poell’s works to surpass the pre-conceived limits of conventional design. The approach of Poell’s work shows no regret in defying fashion industry standards. It is the approach of a true reverse, not to increase its commercial productivity. There is, however, in the world of fashion, an innately reserved segment to continue to dismiss it, accepting the risk and preparing accordingly. CCP Srl is a starting point there. It is a defined nature of producing works to put new interpretations beyond what meets the eye and showing no regret. “Everybody follows fashion, But change goes against the stream.” – Carol Christian Poell

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Everyone says that nowadays niche brands is the future of the fashion industry. Critics write that due to the pursuit of trends, the appearance of "third lines" and other factors, the boundaries between luxury brands began to blur, and the legends for which they stood for so long began to disappear. There is a crisis. However, the owners of those "very niche brands” are existing happily and do not think about fashion weeks, advertisements, and seasons. They present their clothes whenever and wherever they want to. They have just a few thousands of customers and create complex garments by hand or with the help of some like-minded persons. Designers such as Carol Christian Poell or Geoffrey B. Small have certainly formed their own selected audiences around themselves.

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Carol Christian Poel is a great example of an artisanal brand that is indeed unique. Today, Poel works and lives in Milan. He created artisanal garments and shoes, mainly working with leather. He humiliates it whenever he can a chance to do it, literally buries leather under the ground, cooks it, dries, paints, and oxidizes. At first glance, garments come already old, worn, and dirty out of his hands, which, upon the slightest detailed examination, is fascinating. Those are not just garments, but complete installations coming out of a fairy tale.

Carol Christian Poel's shows are real art performances. For instance, in 2003, buyers were watching floating models that looked like drowned bodies from the banks of a canal in Milan. In 2008, the designer staged a show at the morgue, and the guests walked downs between trolleys with clothes laid on them.

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photography: antonis minas

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