8 Places Ropa Mupambwa Loves in Calgary

The fashion designer and owner of Celyn Roze shares her love for Fabricland, Nose Hill Park, Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse and more.

Photograph by Toi et Moi Photography.

The inspiration behind local fashion designer Ropa Mupambwa’s shoe brand, Celyn Roze, is threefold. First, Mupambwa was influenced by her mother, who used to sew her clothes and make wedding dresses in their hometown of Kwekwe, Zimbabwe. Second, Mupambwa was motivated to produce inclusive, accessible fashion: “My mom’s name is Rose, and Celyn is a gender neutral name of Welsh origin. I wanted to name my business after my mom, and Celyn goes well with the brand as my shoes are for everyone,” she says. Finally, Mupambwa was looking to solve a problem she noticed when she worked in retail while studying finance at SAIT: A lack of heel height options for shoes. So, she decided to create her own. “I wanted people to have options in what height they buy and wear, and I also want to tell people that they are beautiful in any heel height.”

In 2020, bold and colourful Celyn Roze shoes in sizes five to 13, in five heel heights — flat, 3.5 cm, 6 cm, 9 cm and 12 cm — debuted online (as well as at Flying Solo in New York) and Mupambwa has been reaching new heights ever since. When the designer has some precious down time, these are her favourite spots to eat, shop and find inspiration at in the city.

 

Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse

“This is the best Brazilian restaurant in Calgary. The servers come around and slice the meat for you from a skewer while you grab the pieces with tongs. And there’s a big salad bar with very tasty options. Picking what I like is the best part!”

 

Village Ice Cream

Photograph by Molly Li.

“I go to the 10th Avenue location downtown and usually try to sample different flavours each time — but salted caramel in a waffle cone is my favourite.”

 

Fabricland

“My mom always used to say, ‘Fabric first, then design,’ and now I design the same way. So, I visit Fabricland to get my mood/vision board going for my collections — seeing all the fabric options helps me plan my colour palettes.”

 

Value Village

“I also visit thrift stores when I’m looking for certain fabrics for my vision board. I usually go to the Value Village near Sunridge Mall.”

 

Major Tom

Photograph by Julya Hajnoczky.

“It can be hard to get a reservation at Major Tom, but when you do, it’s worth it. I like heights, so I love the views from 40 floors up. And the food is so good, especially the cheese toast and steak tartare.”

 

Please and Thanks

“I love how small and cozy this place is. When my friends come to visit, I take them for tacos; I love the beef birria.”

 

Nose Hill Park

Photograph by Steve Collins.

“I go to Nose Hill for the view, some fresh air and to clear my head. In the summer, when I have the time, I’ll usually head there once every two weeks. It’s the perfect place to hang out with friends and just walk.”

 

Japanese Village

“At Japanese Village, the chefs cook right in front of you, playing with fire, doing knife tricks and interacting with you and whoever you’re with. So, you get a good meal and a show.”

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This article appears in the March 2023 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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