Stylish Italian clothing in the heart of Fremantle
When Matilde Carpagnano decided to emigrate from Italy to Australia ten years ago, there was no question about where she wanted to settle – Fremantle. Matilde and her husband, artist Roberto Balsamo, were drawn to the port city for its rich history, progressive community and Mediterranean climate.
A veteran of the fashion world, Matilde had a passion for creating beautiful clothing and accessories using the finest natural materials such as linen, wool, silk, cashmere and leather. Matilde’s innate flair was discovered at age 20, while working for Laura Biagotti as a fashion parade assistant. Working with fabrics felt natural to Matilde, growing up in a creative family, with her mother selling clothes and her grandmother an avid knitter. Matilde gained invaluable experience, spending 26 years working for top designers such as San Lorenzo, Burberry and Max Mara.
While working for top Italian clothing labels, overseeing the design, choice of fabrics, production and sales to exclusive boutiques across the country, Matilde attended fashion fairs in Florence and Milan, honing her craft and developing relationships with suppliers. She discovered a love of working with yarn, learning to hand weave on a loom and making her own collection of accessories.
The move to WA allowed Matilde to realise a long held dream of opening her own store. Creato a Mano – which literally means ‘made by hand’, first opened its doors just over 6 years ago. Creato a Mano is breath of fresh air, offering unique, genuinely handmade items, with a story to tell. Matilde and Roberto are trying to re-establish an appreciation for craftsmanship they feel has been lost in the mass-produced fast fashion retail environment. Their enthusiasm and creative approach to the world is delightfully catching.
“I love to tell customers about a piece of clothing’s history – where we source the fabric, the design, how comfortable it feels to wear. We make our handbags by weaving or crocheting them out of yarn. We design our leather goods and clothing and have them made in Italy by artisans,” says Matilde.
Creato a Mano now also incorporates the Birkenstock store. Devotees of this cult brand may know that Fremantle had the first and only Birkenstock store in Australia for quite some time. Synonymous with style, comfort, and durability, Birkenstock and Creato a Mano is a perfect fit. Fashion comes and goes, but style is forever.
Drop in this Christmas and find a unique gift for someone special – or for yourself!
Creato a Mano
38B Marine Terrace Fremantle
Phone 9430 9025