It is my strong belief that there should be an unwritten rule for all luxury brands to subscribe to a “Give back” philosophy and to adhere to a return to Ethics. I think Brunello Cucinelli is among the few that are as well known for their beautiful cashmere knitwear as they are for their humanist enterprise.
In 1985, Brunello Cucinelli, the founder of the eponymous fashion house, bought and restored the 14th century castle of Solomeo, which became the company headquarters, convinced that a tranquil and beautiful setting would enhance creativity and instill harmony among workers. An old farmhouse was transformed into a company canteen serving home-made meals prepared by the housewives of Solomeo, with local products and in the Umbrian tradition. Cucinelli took on other restoration projects in his native Umbria region, from village roads to churches, on the building of others in different parts of Italy and Africa, and funded and economically supported private or public institutions like the University of Perugia. He continues to make it his company’s purpose to improve the life and growth of people, the most valuable asset in any business, to make work more human, with people at its core.
In our today’s world, when everybody is seemingly trying to copy each other in terms of design and when I sense a lack of brand identity more and more often, a strong set of values can often be what sets one apart.
However, Brunello Cucinelli doesn’t impress only through sound principles. Their products are simple and beautiful, stripped of embellishments and prints, with only the cut, colour and quality of fabrics left to make the garments attractive. And this is the most appealing kind of clothes for me, clothes that seem to retrace the basics of design and of pure and natural beauty. Clothes that so subtly reflect the craftsmanship that goes into their making, as well as the tradition and charm of the place where they are born.
photos: Brunello Cucinelli (2,3,5,6,11,12-Spring/Summer 2014 lookbook)