Brunello Cucinelli’s intellectual approach to fashion

A visit to Brunello Cucinelli’s factory in the Umbrian countryside in the heart of Italy is a rare introduction to the world of luxury fashion manufacturing.

Approaching the complex just outside the city of Perugia feels like visiting a modern-day monastery rather than one of the country’s most exquisitely crafted clothing establishments.

And just like the Abbey, at regular points in the evening you see work stop and silence descending.The company has a strict no-work policy after 5:30pm. .

The place’s striking atmosphere is the result of the vast intellectual ambitions of Brunello Cucinelli, 69. Brunello Cucinelli grew up in rural poverty but is now firmly entrenched in the most elite circles of Italian industry. That said, when you interview him, it’s easy to see that he prides himself on being a more humble person.

Cucinelli enters his office and ponders loudly about the afterlife and the friends who will help him get there. It sets the tone for the next hour and a half very well.

“I would be very upset if I didn’t get even a tiny bit of paradise. I have all these friends, monks and monks, and they help me. A large part of his service to them is to help preserve the historic places where they live and worship.

“I have a passion for guardianship and preservation. You’re not spending or wasting money.It means you’re protecting something for the future,” says Cucinelli.

Brunello Cucinelli Fall/Winter 2022 Women's Collection Look

My initial question about the brand’s Fall/Winter 2022 collection is that I’m afraid it will level off a bit after such an introduction. But don’t worry. The answer to my question does not interrupt his grand train of thought.

“Our collection has always been contemporary,” he says, turning to historical observations to back up his claims. “Looking at style after the trauma of the Spanish Flu in the early 20th century, there was a decade when people wanted to dress elegantly. I want to feel sophisticated, elegant and sophisticated.” His Fall/Winter collection does just that.

Labeled In The Elements, the approach is typical of Brunello Cucinelli’s style, focusing first on comfort and quality. From there, the Nordic style is born, just a little distraction for the Italian company.

But Cucinelli stresses that the core principles of his collection will never change. “Our company still cherishes the feeling that when you buy something you really appreciate it and don’t want to throw it away.” Always remember to build. Isn’t it beautiful?”

His clothes are designed to be enjoyed, put back together and worn again. The lightweight blue suit jacket he wears exemplifies this perfectly, it was made in 2014 and he has been photographed many times before. It is this approach that distinguishes the designer from the more radical seasonal aesthetic changes seen in his brand.

Fall/Winter 2022 Men's Collection

This flexibility also means the brand can work globally. Up until this point, our conversation has focused on European tailoring and traditions.

“I have been studying Islamic culture for 20 years,” Cucinelli tells me, detailing his love for the likes of medieval Arab philosopher and historian Ibn Khaldun and Persian polymath Avicenna. One year, the staff’s Christmas present was a copy of the Quran.

As for the Middle East, he sees a particularly interesting business opportunity due to the similarities between Italian and Arab cultures. One of his ten principles in the Manifesto on Human Capitalism that he presented at his G20 summit last year is respect for his ancestors. In our conversation, he refers to his family as his one of his three great ideals.

The same goes for aesthetics. Gulf traditional clothing focuses on understated style and comfort. “I really like this comparison. I think you can. It’s chic but not overdone.”

Brunello Cucinelli

Above all, he recognizes that the same optimistic energy that has fueled his success lies in the Gulf region. “There’s something brewing in that part of the world,” he says at one point.

Cucinelli’s plans to strengthen the brand’s presence abroad clearly receive the same intellectual treatment as his European operations. in Italy.

For all talks about the global future, the way we conduct our conversation is one of the best of Italy’s humanitarian past as his profession in a modern marketplace that too often subverts traditional ways of doing things. It is a battle that needs to be fought. Twenty-first century economics has not been kind to the Italian countryside. A trend seen across Western Europe is that more and more young people are leaving rural villages for the cities. In Spain, France, and Italy, you can now buy abandoned villages for a fraction of the price.

Cucinelli has used his commercial success to keep one of these settlements not only alive, but flourishing. The hilltop village of Solomeo, just above the factory, is the heart of the company, with its Renaissance theater and amphitheater, and an extensive humanities library currently under construction.

Perhaps most importantly, we were shown an old stone studio where five young tailors were paid by designers to learn the intricate art of making suits. There could not have been a more successful example of maintaining a proud tradition in modern Italy by making the most of sustainable capitalism.

Village of Solomeo, Umbria, central Italy

My impression of the visit is that the Cucinelli brand is built on strong ideals. Fashion is clearly an industry that knows how to show, and it’s true that corporate philosophical messages act as a form of branding. But enough evidence for our conversations and a tour of something deeper There is… Simply put, he cares about his staff, culture and environment.

“I’m basically here to help create,” says Cucinelli. Whether it’s training the next generation of artisans or an increasingly globalized business, this part of the world could have been marred by otherwise unsustainable industries at best and devastated at worst. It may be, but there is a strong sense that it is now thriving and vibrant.

What are his last words in this amazing presentation? “Fear not.” He could mean many things. Personally, I am less concerned that modern fashion and industry inevitably harm the planet and human dignity.

Updated: Dec 26, 2022, 12:04

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