Creativity, passion, determination and love for her motherland: she is Delia Zappalà, a young Sicilian fashion designer who has decided to become a businesswoman launching a line of products inspired by Sicily. She could be an example for many of those young people who sometimes have many ideas, but who are discouraged by the context, which certainly does not facilitate juvenile entrepreneurship
«Becoming a fashion designer was my dream, since I was a child,» she says. Her career was already marked: she lived in Nicolosi, at slopes of Monte Etna, from which she takes lava stones that she uses on her jewels. Then she attended high school focusing on humanities, where she learned «to think about things and to put them in connection with each other». And this is what Delia does: think, reason, connect elements and create stories that take shape in her clothes, bags, jewels.
Immediately after the high school she went to Rome, where she attended the IED: «There my passion grew with the skills I acquired. Studying there, I decided to become a stylist». After graduation she was chosen to design clothes to be shown in Campidoglio. But it is the first of a long series of successes: «Shortly after the Campidoglio experience, I was contacted by a Roman agency, Gekos, which invests in youth entrepreneurship. Along with me, another 9 boys are involved in creating and enhancing Made in Italy. Thanks to this stimulating environment, I met the world of Italian manual skills, I appreciated it and I want to make it known to others by selling my products ». The fabrics that Delia uses are produced in Rome and Como. «When the fabrics are delivered to me, I draw up the paper pattern that I then deliver to Sicilian tailors who make the product as I have thought it. Handmade is our strength».
On her products, you can feel the love for Sicily: lava stone, pompoms, wicker: all is harmoniously connected to give the wearer a feeling of having some of Sicily with them! «I would like to transmit the joy of us, Sicilians, our radiance, our strength and love for our land». And Delia deeply loves her land: «A Sicilian will always love Sicily, wherever he goes». She brought her motherland with her first to Rome, and now also to America, where she is attending a Masters in Business Administration: “Creativity is not enough, a company needs to know how to manage it and I would like to be able to manage mine”. In her company, Delia has invested in her savings, and has started selling products in some markets of the sector, first in Spain and then in Sicily. She believed in her project, without selling off to big brands in the name of an experience to build: “Companies like Fendi and others propose you to work with them, to gain experience, and pay you two hundred euros per month. It is unacceptable! The work is ennobling, no one should sell out like that! Here in America work, especially the creative one, is appreciated, valued and above all paid for!». Today Delia’s products are sold all over the world, from Taormina to Theran. “Shopkeepers ask me to sell my products in their shops. Mostly, I sell to direct consumer who sees my products on social media. Instagram is my showcase in the world».
Although now living in America, her goal is to return to Sicily and base there: “As soon as I will be able to better manage my company thanks to the skills that I am acquiring here in America, I will go back to Sicily». A determination that can only give hope to all those guys who sometimes let their ideas die in unpaid internships and so on. “I want to tell other young Sicilian guys that we must not surrender before this land that crushes us! Valorize ourselves, and we will revalue our land, making it appreciated for the wonders it has, for its history full of glorious people. Young people and Sicily have to grow up together! That is the only way to eliminate the corruption that lead everything to remain as it is».
Translated to English by Cecilia Corsaro