What do you strive for? Robbie Spina: “Beautiful objets of desire that are contemporary, almost fashion-like statement pieces. All handmade with impeccable craftsmanship.”

What do you look for in a material? Joe Zito: “We always use the finest quality materials, whether it is Swarovski crystal or silk threads, so that it is strong and durable. We like to use materials that are not traditionally associated with interiors, like coral, palm seeds and semi-precious stones like tiger’s eye and pearls. Our pieces often juxtapose the tactile qualities of hard and soft materials.”

Hong Kong design duo on why they choose function over form

Is there still a place for elaborate decoration in today’s contemporary home? Spina: “Happily, yes. Leading interior designers worldwide usually include our pieces because they are akin to art, with a style of their own. We adopt a chameleon approach to design because each piece is specially created to take every detail of a space into account, from floor finishes, the lighting and small details such as a bronze patina on the edge of a rare ceramic plate.

“Our pieces are often called in to finish a beautiful room in whichever style has been chosen, whether it is an opulent Middle Eastern palace or Kelly Hoppen’s minimalism.”

Where do you find inspiration? Zito: “We are always on the lookout for great inspiration from art galleries, theatre costumes, fashion and jewellery. Our travel choices are always based on some special craft or technique, whether a Balinese carver or lace makers from Lago Trasimeno, in Italy.”

Our pieces are often called in to finish a beautiful room in whichever style has been chosen, whether it is an opulent Middle Eastern palace or Kelly Hoppen’s minimalism
Robbie Spina

Spina: “We spend a lot of time in Italy, where we have a Spina showcase in the Umbrian hills, our homage to the techniques and styles we’ve developed over the last 17 years. Here, guests experience our work first-hand in something that is part museum, gallery and sumptuous retreat.”

Name some of your favourite projects. Zito: “We feel privileged to have worked on commissions by David and Victoria Beckham, and Madonna is also a tassel aficionado. Creating a large spiral light sculpture of 25,000 pieces of crystal, adding one bead at a time by hand, for a central London mansion for designer Kelly Hoppen was also a splendid project.”

Spina: “Window displays are where we get to create true drama: we’ve done Harrods’ Christmas windows for over 15 years, and also worked with Ralph Lauren and Van Cleef & Arpels. At the Hôtel de Crillon, in Paris, we created giant tiebacks for their fantastical [café] Jardin d’Hiver.”