Chiara Muzzupappa was born in Reggio Calabria but has blood from Messina in her veins. She’s a designer and created her handcrafted brand called Spisidda Design. She makes handmade accessories, above all wooden bags with embroideries and engravings. Sicilian Secrets interviewed her for you.
Wood, art, exclusivity. These are the main ingredients of Spisidda Design. Customized bags, from the shape to the colors. Chiara Muzzupappa’s wish is to enrich the style of her clients to make them feel unique and precious.
Q: How did Spisidda come about and what does this word mean?
A: Spisidda is related to my childhood and my family. It’s a slang from the dialect of Messina that represents the spark, like the ones from bonfires: small but with a lot of energy. My grandma has called me Spisidda since I was a child, so here is the name of my brand: Spisidda Design.
Q: From Calabria and with Sicilian roots, how much of this heritage can we see in the creations by Spisidda Design? And how all of this affects your work?
A: For me Sicily and Calabria are two colorful lands with a lot of folklore. I’m fascinated by the old techniques of Sicilian embroidery, so I took inspiration and adapted it onto wood. This feeling is clear in my bags, such as in the new collection Ex Voto where I used bright colors and traditional drawings.
Q: Which materials do you mainly use?
A: I mainly use thread and wood, that I like to define “my material”. In addition of being eco-friendly materials, wood and thread merge into a fantastic product. Thanks to embroidery, the most exciting part of my job, I’m able to “make the wood talk”. In this way it has a soul and a personality!
A: Where do you find the right inspiration for your creations?
Q: I find the right inspiration everywhere. I let nature influence me, I’m inspired by the happiness and colors of people that surround me. Of course, I pay attention to the trends of the year as well. However, the best ideas come about during a bike ride among the farmsteads of Southern Milan.
Q: What’s the professional dream you want to make true?
A: My greatest wish is to establish myself in the fashion world while continuing the tradition of Sicilian and Calabrese artists. Moreover, I dream of opening my first shop. Being realistic, in this moment I’m working on my e-commerce (www.spisiddadesign.com) and building new collaborations with people I appreciate.
Q: How would you define the relationship between you and your land? Both Calabria and Sicily…
A: It’s a love-hate relationship. On one hand I love it because it made me grow and become the person I am today. In the South, I have my family and beautiful memories. On the other hand, I had to leave to carry on my studies in design. In the North, I had the opportunity to give birth to my project: let’s just think about the markets that take place every week in Milan, where I can display my bags and be known.
Q: What really makes you proud of yourself?
A: I’m proud of my job every time I’m able to convey the values of my brand: hereditariness and customization. Spisidda Design puts the client at the center: a bag is not precious because of the brand but because it’s yours, personal, unique and with a story you can hand down.
Q: How important is it to preserve the artisanal tradition?
A: Any handmade job requires time and sacrifices in addition to passion and dedication. I think that nowadays it is essential to count on craftmanship to stress the worth of made in Italy. In addition to the implicit artistic tradition of our country, a handmade product can satisfy the real needs of people more than consumer goods.
Spisidda Design is one of the talents and above all, one of the stories that Sicilian Secrets loves to tell. An example of flair, creativity, ability to convey the soul of our land through handmade products. So traditional, so modern.