You've surely seen her - she's the sunny, curly-haired girl who kicked off summer and smiles at you as the face of Lidl's summer grill campaign. However, the story behind it is more interesting – a story that transports us to a world of fine jewelry, master embroidery and a sense of timelessness. Introducing Petya Ilieva.
Who is Petya?
Petya is the man behind KITNA, and KITNA is her author's brand for handmade accessories and jewelry inspired by Bulgarian needlework. He is a fashion designer by education, a graphic designer by profession, and a mix between the two at heart. Although unconscious, her love for Bulgarian needlework and folklore was born as a child. In her grandmother Petra's country house, there are always colorful carpets, rugs and embroidered tablecloths. She is a master knitter herself, although she has never done needlework. However, it is Petya who will have the task of continuing the tradition, but also of breaking the stereotype, by weaving the needlework into something as exciting and different as jewelry.
How is KITNA born?
It all starts with her meeting an unknown old woman. Dressed in a white shirt with embroidery on the sleeves and neckline, the woman says that she always wears this shirt because she keeps it. That's how Petya's curiosity about the multi-colored braid was born. He began digging through old antique books to learn about the structure and design of the vespa. One of them, however, will prove to be more special. In it, he finds a description of all the various stitches used in Bulgarian needlework, as well as schemes for their production. Adding her innate dexterity and love for embroidery, the idea for KITNA gradually began to take shape. Today, Petya says that the brand is an expression of her desire to revive Bulgarian needlework. To show that it can be modern and that there is a place for it here and now, realizing all this in a modern way, beautifully uniting past and present.
And why KITNA?
Because it is playful, memorable, picturesque and colorful. "Every woman likes to emphasize her beauty, to dress up, to dress up," says Petya and remembers how, even as schoolgirls, she and her friend used to say "Let's dress up for tonight." The word is also like a Rubik's cube - if you swap the syllables, you get "jewelry", and read backwards - "antique". Thus, even the name reflects the idea of the brand, interweaving different cultural references, bringing together past and present in a fine jewelry or accessory.
The Way of Embroidery
The first piece of jewelry she created were earrings inspired by old Bulgarian needlework and built on the basis of the sunny "Elbetica". He made them as a supplement for the defense of his thesis, where he presented the KITNA project. "I couldn't wait to realize my idea and make a piece of jewelry with embroidery," she recalls. And what's even better is that these first earrings were subsequently bought by one of the professors who evaluated her in the committee.
She admits that every first stitch is difficult for her. However, he puts a lot of effort, care and love into each piece of jewelry. From the drawing of the geometric shapes, through the concept, to the making itself - everything is experienced. She believes that embroidery is a carrier of traditional virtues and values, and this is what makes it suitable for everyone. "Each person should be complemented by their chosen embroidery and, like her, have brightness, radiate energy and reveal their emotional and spiritual completeness," she says.
And what would be the embroidery that personifies her? With elements from the different parts of Bulgaria, where she and her family come from. But certainly – colorful, modern and different.
The Whale Grill
Just like the embroideries she makes, the perfect summer should be colorful, varied and cute, says Petya. To have everything good in it - trips, meetings with friends, mandatory camping and open skies. To all this he adds a good grill - "with as many bright vegetables as possible on the grill, trout baked in foil, and necessarily a glass of cold beer." And for the finale – a favorite ice cream to unlock memories. Like her greatest grilling experience – at a homemade tent camp at her grandmother's house in Stara Planina. “Surrounded by nature, amazing night skies, fresh air and the sounds of leaves, forest animals and crickets. All this combined with a huge grill around which a company of 20 people gathered," she still remembers to this day.
Therefore, if you too can't wait to gather your friends around the grill, don't miss joining in. Until July 11, get fresh meat with the Grill Master brand, fresh fish or fish products for at least BGN 10 in 1 receipt. Scan your Lidl Plus at the checkout. Register your participation in the application by pressing the "Activate" button and you can win 1 of 400 shopping vouchers worth BGN 400