Essential Macau | Dream Factory

Combining highly imaginative design and high-quality finishes, Circu is a unique brand in the children’s luxury market

By Álvaro Tavares Ramos

Over the last few years, the Covet Group universe has come to explore the most diverse fields with its brands, from furniture and lighting to rugs and decorative objects. And so, not surprisingly, Circu was born. Entirely dedicated to children, thanks to its concept and the effect and originality of its pieces, it is one of the brands that most stands out in the group’s vast portfolio.

A result of couples having children later in life (and thus with more financial resources to spend on the younger ones), as well as the fact that the luxury segment is increasingly exploring new market ground, Circu fits in perfectly with the high-end segment of some emerging countries and the Middle East. In keeping with the Covet Group philosophy, it combines the experience of this European group with the fertile imagination so typical of children.

With the gauntlet laid down by the group to André Oliveira, CEO and head designer of Circu, the brand was created in 2015 to make childhood fantasies come true. “Achieving the essence of this project required in-depth research into the world of children, from which I drew inspiration. I went back to my childhood memories through to today to not only identify what I retained, but to also understand the evolution of the trends in this sector. Circu was the realisation of a true personal dream, which is actually that of all children: to make their fantasies come true and make their world more magical. It is a brand full of passion and which mirrors the beauty, importance and naivety of the world of children,” reveals André Oliveira.

Looking at the Circu collection, it is easy to see the inspiration behind its pieces, which enthral the youngsters but also their parents. The world of Disney is one of the brand’s big reference points, and pieces such as the Teepee Room and the Little Mermaid bed are a reflection of that exactly. The interactive Rocky Rocket chair, for example, evokes the exciting adventures of Tintin on the Moon, while the Bun Van bed recreates the iconic Volkswagen Camper van. Other pieces, such as the Cloud lamp, one of its most sought-after products, fill the bedrooms and play areas of many children, combining functionality and fun, achieved through its embedded speakers with Bluetooth control.

With dreams as its main inspiration, Circu makes reference to many other elements that fill the world of kids, such as animated films, games, books, stories, fairytales and cartoons. “These things capture children’s imagination and create a true fantasy world where the sky, for us, is the limit. It’s the brand’s mission to make all those dreams come true and to be able to conceive and build such a unique world, where imagination plays a central role. We are a big part of the beginning of life and we provide inspiring adventures for the development of the personality of many children, and that is our main motivation,” the CEO tells Essential in an interview.

As such, associating pieces developed for playing and daydreaming with luxury finishes is one of the main challenges for the brand. “The use of the pieces, whether by the parents or by the children, is one of the key factors that I bear in mind when I create the concept. Also present is the need to create something that is exclusive and original. Lastly comes a concern with the choice of materials and finishes, which is crucial for the variables of luxury, imagination and comfort to come together in perfect harmony.”

In a market where the approach to children’s brands is much more conventional, Circu stands out for the extravagance of its collections and for following the same aesthetic line that defines other brands in the group, as André Oliveira explains to us: “If we look at it closely, most of the Circu collection shows that, at the base of the creative process, there is a maximalist image, but the final result stands out for its exclusive design and an aesthetic that we can consider minimalist. It’s a fact that we like to recreate reality in many details, both in form and in the materials, but when we look at the final piece, the overall look is harmonious. It is this balance, this perfect symbiosis, that defines the brand.”

Investing in the development of pieces steeped in personality has been one of the brand’s priorities from the beginning. “The pieces boast their very own personality and oneness. All are customisable, made by hand with the best materials and with a focus on education and fun. Something we have also maintained from the start is to preserve good craftsmanship and to conceive and deliver high-quality pieces, in all aspects, to our customers. The fact that our products are handmade means each customer can introduce distinctive elements into the piece, which accentuates their exclusivity. These are true works of art, made by artisans passionate about their profession and with the desire to build and make these creations unique. We are proud to be able to say that our pieces are conceived and produced from scratch, drawing on the knowledge and experience of the best artisans.” The CEO adds: “Circu applies many traditional arts, contributing not only to their continuity but also to their value and prestige, something we consider a duty and which makes us very happy.”